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US-based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has launched the second edition of its Africa Innovation Challenge and is calling on innovators from across Africa to submit their entries before 16 January.
This year’s edition — which was launched last Thursday (8 November) during the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum — aims to address the critical unmet needs of local communities in Africa while providing local entrepreneurs with support to create innovative healthcare products and services.
Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 includes six categories, which aim to address significant threats to Africa’s health care systems and environment. These are: botanical solutions, mental health, packaging innovations, health worker support, digital health tools, and essential surgical care.
Selected Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 participants will receive to $50 000 in funding and mentorship
Botanical solutions: Johnson & Johnson is seeking naturally-derived, plant-based solutions that tap into traditional knowledge and deliver consumer health and wellness benefits through topical application.
Packaging innovations: Do you have sustainable innovations for packaging of single-dose units and other affordable product sizes that will reduce or eliminate waste, while protecting the product?
Mental health: Johnson & Johnson is looking for innovations that create awareness for mental illness as a public health problem, and offer solutions for patients, caregivers, and their communities to address these issues.
Health worker support: Do you have an innovation that supports the well-being and resilience of nurses, midwives and community health workers?
Digital health tools: This category is for data enabled tech and apps that can inform, educate, communicate and connect people — especially women — to treatment, support and care.
Essential surgical care: In this category, Johnson & Johnson is on the look out for innovations that promote access to timely, safe and skilled surgical care
Selected innovators will receive up to $50 000 in funding in addition to mentorship from Johnson & Johnson’s global network of scientists, engineers and business managers. In order to be considered for the challenge, idea submissions must address be innovative, scalable and be aimed at least one of the six challenge categories.
In addition, submissions must be accompanied by a commercialisation plan and an outline of how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within a year.