Frequently Asked Questions
AFRICA INNOVATION CHALLENGE
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE AFRICA INNOVATION CHALLENGE?
Any and all citizens or permanent residents of a country in Africa, aged 18 years or older, who may have an innovative solution and detailed project plan, are welcome to apply. You could be a student at a university or an engineer in the field. If you think you have a great idea, we want to hear from you. Early-stage startups or projects that have currently raised less than the equivalent of US $100,000 (for example: equity funding, public funding and/or grants) can also apply.
WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES OF THE AFRICA INNOVATION CHALLENGE?
There are three different categories, however you can apply to all three:
- Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health: Improving maternal health helps nurture happy, healthy babies and generates positive child development. We are looking for non-pharmaceutical product and technology solutions that will help ensure women and newborns in Africa stay healthy during pregnancy, childbirth and throughout child development.
- Empowering Young Girls: Access to good education and basic needs such as feminine care products is important to make sure young girls across Africa realize their full potential. We are looking for consumer product, technology and educational innovations that address these needs, making a brighter future possible for young women.
- Improving Family Well-being: Families need reliable healthcare information and access to healthcare professionals and effective products in order to thrive. We are searching for innovative technology-driven solutions that help promote access to healthcare knowledge, advice and products and enhance the well-being of consumers in Africa.
We are looking for an idea that has a clear project plan to progress towards commercialization. Commercialization is the process of introducing a new product or solution into commerce – making it available on the market. As you are submitting your application, you will be asked several questions about your proposal so that we can better understand the feasibility of your idea. If you have a business plan to share, that is great. If you'd like to, you could also upload additional documents that support your idea, but that's not mandatory. As additional help, please find the kind of ideas we are looking for according to the three categories:
- Example idea for Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health: Antibacterial/Antiviral products that help with the prevention of disease transmission
- Example idea for Empowering Young Girls: An education program focused on encouraging girls to learn about health and hygiene. Empowering girls by driving sustainable education and careers in STEM
- Example idea for Improving Family Well-being: Reliable mobile tele-health via smart devices to help families get access to health information, healthcare solutions and everday products including over-the-counter medicine.
Applications will be reviewed by two judging committees. The first judging committee will be made up of experts (engineers, scientists, and researchers). The second judging committee will determine the winner(s). It will be made up of leadership from Johnson & Johnson and/or its affiliates, who span multiple areas of expertise including science, technology, engineering, and marketing. Your application will be judged according to the following criteria:
- Idea submission addresses at least one of the three challenge categories: 1) Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health in Africa, 2) Empowering Young Girls in Africa, 3) Improving Family Well-being in Africa
- Idea submission is innovative and creative
- Idea submission is scalable
- Idea submission outlines how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provides a commercialization plan
The selection will occur in 2 distinctive phases. Applicants will be informed of their progress during the phase their application is in.
- Pre-final Selection: The first judging committee will select the top 10 applications based on the quality of their online application, regardless of the challenge category.
- Finalist Selection: The second judging committee will interview up to 10 applicants and determine the winner(s) of the Challenge.
If you are deemed a winner, the award money amount will be determined based on your winning submission and given to you in milestone moments, not in a lump sum amount. All work toward developing and commercializing your product solution or service must be done in Africa.
IS THE INFORMATION IN MY APPLICATION TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL?
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I’M SELECTED?
The top 10 applicants will be notified no later than the end of January 2017. The finalists will be notified no later than the end of February 2017.