UNECA COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge (for details visit https://www.uneca.org/aiif-covid-19-ic/pages/africa-innovation-and-investment-forum-2020-covid-19-innovation-challenge) and Innovation in Government for COVID-19  (https://www.uneca.org/disgec/pages/innovation-government-challenge-covid-19).

Africa traditionally depends on external supplies of medical equipment, diagnostic reagents and tools, protective gear and medicines. With a global scramble for limited medical supplies, countries are leveraging domestic technology and innovation capabilities, and harnessing and stimulating the entrepreneurial talent to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and beyond.

Both challenges are part of the efforts to boost national capacity to respond and is thus open to all researchers, firms, public and private development agencies, government leaders, innovators, youths and development partners.

The Innovation Challenge focuses on the following areas:

  1.  Affordable rapid testing;
  2. Enhance medical devices and personal protection gear design and fabrication;
  3. Alternative tools for efficient and effective contact tracing and isolation;
  4. Development and production of potential drugs and vaccines in Africa.

The Innovation in Government for COVID-19  focuses on Government led innovation to ensure key services are delivered safely (such as remote learning, service delivery).

Credible and market-ready innovations will be showcased at the first Africa Innovation and Investment Forum 2020 with a focus on COVID-19, from 15-19 June 2020 (https://www.uneca.org/aiif2020). The Forum will bring together innovators, investors, business leaders and government officials from across Africa and beyond to explore investment and market needs, identify business opportunities and innovations to support.

The Forum registration form is athttps://www.uneca.org/acpc-common/registration

Given the urgency that the current COVID-19 environment demands, all submissions will be assessed as soon as they are received and may be posted on the UN website to encourage information sharing and partnerships.

The submission deadline: 17:00 hrs East African Time of 05 June 2020.

In addition, a virtual Youth Innovators Competition and Design Bootcamp with a focus on COVID-19 will be organised. The details to participate can be found at http://ubora-biomedical.org/yicdb-2020/.

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