Johnson & Johnson launches $100k Africa Innovation Challenge


Multinational pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has launched its Africa Innovation Challenge, which will reward a number of solutions in the health and family spaces with up to US$100,000 in funding and mentorship.

Johnson & Johnson said the Africa Innovation Challenge is aimed at supporting the continent’s growing innovation ecosystem and helping to develop important and locally sustainable consumer health solutions.

The challenge – for which applications are open until January 17 –  is seeking novel ideas that focus on three critical health areas: promoting early child development and maternal health; empowering young women; and improving family well-being.

Those the best solutions will receive up to US$100,000 in funding and mentorship from scientists, engineers and researchers in the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Research & Development organisation.

“Through the Africa Innovation Challenge, we have the opportunity to support the continent’s top entrepreneurs through mentorship and other resources, and by working together with local talent, to bring forward new solutions to local health care challenges,” said Paul Stoffels, managing director, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson.

Josh Ghaim, chief technology officer (CTO) at Johnson & Johnson, said the company’s goal was to improve the health and well-being of families and communities around the world.

“With its focus on consumer healthcare, the Africa Innovation Challenge will help to surface important issues impacting local communities. We look forward to engaging with the continent’s top entrepreneurs and scientists, and through collaboration, helping advance their ideas and bringing meaningful solutions across three very important healthcare areas,” he said.

The winners of the challenge could also receive dedicated space at a lab facility in Africa throughout their product or service development, dependent on the needs of the solution submission.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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