ADDIS ABABA, July 4 (Xinhua) --- Targeting at technological breakthrough, the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has prioritized five categories and includes manufacturing and service industry, agriculture and agribusiness, ICTs, health and well-being, environment, as well as water and energy.
Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director for Information Communication Technology (ICT), Science and Technology Division of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), told the press on Wednesday that the 2013 IPA has come with an increase in number of the categories.
The annual awards which first launched in March this year, aims at fueling and promoting innovation in Africa as well as encouraging innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa.
The Director said the awardees are selected based on the five IPA criteria including marketability, originality, scalability, social impact, and utility/technical aspect. According to ECA, the IPA is a joint African Innovation Foundation/EA and promotes among young Africans the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers and business applications, which had a significant contribution on the socio- economic development witnessed in most developed and some developing countries over the past five decades.
The 2013 IPA consists of three prizes with which the first winner is awarded a prize of 100,000 U.S. dollars and each of the two runner-ups will be awarded 25, 000 dollars.
The runner-ups are selected for innovations with best marketability potentials and best social impact.
The first prize will be awarded to an innovator with the overall best innovation that meets all the five IPA criteria with clear business potentials.
Aida recalled that an Egyptian engineer named Mohamed Sanad won the first prize of the 2012 IPA for his innovation of a low cost, foldable/deployable, multi-band base station antenna.
The winner is then a professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University.
Zeinou Abdelyamine, an Algerian researcher, won the prize in 2012 for his innovation of pesticides that is environmentally friendly insecticides and rodenticides.
The director also recalled that 2012 IPA received about 485 applications from 38 countries, of which only seven were selected for finals.
The 2013 IPA Award Ceremony will be held in April 2013 for which applications are received beginning this month and whose venue and exact date will be announced by the end of March 2013, according to ECA.