Startups from Kenya, Nigeria, SA invited to apply for waste innovation challenges


Startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have been invited to apply for five challenges aimed at harnessing the power of innovators to reduce waste.

The challenges are run by KTN Global Alliance Africa, a six-year project funded by UK Aid through the Innovate UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). 

The long-term ambition of the project is to promote job creation, inclusive growth and poverty reduction through knowledge transfer, skills building and opportunities to support businesses and innovations that deliver scalable impact and sustainable economies. KTN Global Alliance Africa harnesses the collective power of innovators in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK to drive positive change and create value.

The five challenges are launched as part of its Global Alliance Innovation Exchange programme, which is designed to introduce companies with specific challenges to the innovators who are already working on the solutions.

In South Africa, KTN Global Alliance Africa is supporting multinational consumer goods company Unilever in achieving its goals of halving the amount of virgin plastic used in its packaging, reducing its plastic usage by more than 100,000 tonnes, and collecting and processing more plastic packaging than sold. 

In Kenya, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre, which processes CRTs, is on the hunt for innovative solutions for the recycling and reuse of led-embedded screens and steering coils and is wanting to explore alternative uses for CRTs, either in their current state or in a new form following their disposal. 

Also in Kenya, Flamingo Horticulture International, a horticultural business with a global footprint that spans the farming, production, sales and marketing of fresh produce and flowers, is on the lookout for innovative cross sectorial solutions to detect, screen and eradicate FCM.

Applications for all five challenges close on January 28, 2022. The top candidates will then be selected to pitch their ideas to those companies seeking these solutions. The most promising solution providers for each challenge will receive GBP25,000 (US$34,000) in seed funding to develop their concept into a prototype or pilot, with additional support from KTN Global Alliance Africa.


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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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