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 $250,000 (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, and applicants may apply for up to two different categories in an application:

  • Support for Rural Clinics

    Rural clinics and hospitals play an important role in the health care of local
    communities and the management of pandemic spread of diseases; however, they are generally less equipped than health care facilities in urban settings. We are seeking innovations that can address shortages and limitations in essential medical equipment and diagnostics for rural healthcare centers.

  • Training & Education for Health Workers
    Health Care Workers will be the first line of defense in the next pandemic. We are seeking innovations that can increase pandemic preparedness among Community Health Workers.

  • Health Information Services
    Information technology can improve access to appropriate health care and can supply crucial information in tracking supplies and localized disease outbreaks. We are seeking innovations that utilize Information Communication Technology or Artificial Intelligence to deliver telemedicine and mobile diagnostic tools, that can keep secure electronic health records and track medical supply chains, and could inform about outbreaks of diseases.

WHAT KIND OF SUBMISSION ARE YOU LOOKING FOR EXACTLY?

We are looking for an idea that has a clear project plan to progress towards implementation. Implementation is the process of introducing a new product or solution – making it available on the African 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 ideas for Support for Rural ClinicsAn example idea might be effective patient transport in rural settings; another example could be efficient sterilization equipment designed for rural settings.
  • Example ideas for Training & Education for Health Workers: An example idea might be a smartphone application that references safe procedures for health care workers during disease outbreaks; another example could be personal protection kits for health workers.
  • Example ideas for Health Information Services: An example idea might be a smartphone application that uses crowdsourcing to track disease outbreaks; another example could be applications that can maintain secure health records across borders.

WHO & HOW WILL THE PROJECTS BE JUDGED?

Applications will be reviewed by two judging committees. The first judging committee will determine the Finalists and is 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 (Support for Rural Clinics; Training & Education for Health Workers; Health Information Services)
  • Idea submission is innovative and creative
  • Idea submission is scalable
  • Idea submission outlines how the award would help the applicant(s) reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provides a implementation plan, including metrics for success.


WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS OF THE AFRICA INNOVATION CHALLENGE?

The selection will occur in 2 distinctive phases. Applicants will be informed of their progress during the phase their application is in.

  • Finalist Selection: The first judging committee will select the top 5-10 applications of the challenge categories, based on the quality of their online application. Potential Finalists might be approached for more information.
  • Winner Selection: The second judging committee will select the provisional winner(s) of the challenge from the list of Finalists. The provisional winners will be interviewed and vetted for eligibility before they are announced as winners.


IF I WIN, HOW IS THE AWARD GIVEN TO ME?

If you are deemed a winner, the award money amount will be determined based on your winning submission and provided to you in periodic payments towards achievement of development milestones, 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?

We invite Applicants to apply by submitting ONLY NON-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. However, if your application is selected as one of the finalists, Johnson & Johnson may ask you to submit certain confidential information regarding your application in order to assist the second judging committee in making its final selection. Should you agree to submit such confidential information, such submission will be covered by a confidentiality agreement that you and Johnson & Johnson agree to and sign before you disclose your confidential information. All information you provide will be governed by our Privacy Policy.

 

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WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I’M SELECTED?

Finalists will be determined no later than XXXX. The winners will be notified no later than early XXXX.