Improving the process of harvesting Colombian coffee

If you are an entrepreneur, a company or a research group, you have two weeks to propose a solution onhow to make coffee harvesting more efficient in Colombia, and have the opportunity to work with Colombia Coffee Grower´s Federation to improve the process of harvesting the best coffee in the world. 

To propose a solution please register below.


Three Outstanding African Innovations Walk Away with Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2017 Total Cash Prize of US$150,000

Congratulations to Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) on its recent achievement on securing second place in the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa!

Winning innovations demonstrate high level of proficiency in energy efficient and healthcare-related solutions

ACCRA, Ghana, July 19, 2017 - The sixth edition of the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (http://InnovationPrizeForAfrica.org) culminated with a bang as the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (www.AfricanInnovation.org) awarded three more African innovators for their incredible innovations. Out of the total of over 2,500 applications, 10 nominees were selected, and from these Aly El-Shafei of Egypt emerged as the Grand Prize winner, with Philippa Ngaju Makobore of Uganda landing the Second Prize, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia winning the Special Prize for Social Impact. Each one of the seven remaining nominees also went home with US$5,000 voucher to be used to further develop their innovations. Moreover, all nominees and winners will benefit from IPA post prize activities aiming at moving their innovations to the next level. 

The main obstacle in increasing electricity generation capacity in Africa continues to be the high cost of producing electricity, which is forcing governments to subsidize consumption. Dr. El-Shafei’s innovation, the Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB), is a world-class solution that supports energy generating turbines and can be used to improve efficiency and reduce costs of generating energy in Africa.

Meanwhile, inadequate medical solutions to efficiently administer drugs or to diagnose diseases continue to affect the quality of healthcare delivery in many parts of the continent. Makobore’s invention, known as the Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) and Dr. Nyan’s multiple diseases rapid detection test, both offer ingenious solutions aimed at raising the quality of healthcare provision in Africa.

AIF collaborated with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Ghana@60 Planning Committee to host IPA 2017, which was themed ‘African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity’. H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, presided over the prestigious awards ceremony, held at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra in Ghana.

AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Founder, African Innovation Foundation, commented, “This edition of IPA has been all about galvanizing support for African innovators in order to mobilize increased investments to help them commercialize and scale their innovations at a greater rate. AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage.”

IPA 2017 Chairman of the Jury, Prof Nyasse Barthelemy said that the deliberation was tough as the quality of innovations were high. “Each of the innovations, in their own respective ways, were winners as they represented local solutions to local challenges. It came down to the wire but we believe we have awarded the most compelling innovations this year. We look forward to seeing what comes next for the incredible innovations from IPA 2017 innovators and wish them the very best”.

The patented innovation SEMAJIB by Dr. El-Shafei, who walked away with the Grand Prize of US$100,000, is a smart bearing that significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology. Patented in the US since 2010 with another patent pending, the device is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa. SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens' has indicated interest in the device. A world class innovation originating from Africa, SEMAJIB reverse Africa's image as a technology consumer to technology producer. Production of these bearings in Africa will also generate jobs and increased revenue for Africa.

The ECFG by Philippa, who bagged the Second Prize of US$25,000, is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor. It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device. IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.

Dr. Dougbeh, who was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact of US$25 000, developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time. His diagnostic test is fast and easy to use in any setting and is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola. Whereas most testing methods take three to seven days, this device gives test results in ten to forty minutes. Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype. The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as ‘Nature-Scientific Reports’. His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, commented, “As Ghana marks 60 years of independence, there is no opportune time than now to reiterate our nation’s commitment towards investing in innovation-led growth and prosperity. Our decision to partner with AIF to host the 2017 edition of the IPA is a result of our commitment to support African innovation not just at a national but at a Pan-African level. Platforms such as IPA are vital for building stronger synergies amongst key Science Technology and Innovation influencers and stakeholders in Ghana whilst expanding linkages with international partners to promote STI development capacity building, knowledge transfer and forge new partnerships with regional innovation leaders and expand our nation’s innovation footprint.”

The 2017 awards welcomed hundreds of entries from outstanding innovators. For the first time, IPA nominees include innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe, and featured a stronger presence of women that in any of the years past. The exceptional quality of entrants, finalists and winners delighted this year’s judges and made for a thrilling awards celebration night.

IPA has seen tremendous growth in applications and increasing interest from both innovators and innovation enablers over the years. To date, IPA has attracted more than 7,500 innovators from 52 African countries, making it a truly Pan African initiative. IPA 2017 edition witnessed a record number of entries from over 2,500 innovators across 48 African countries. The Foundation has supported past winners and nominees with approximately US$1 million to move their innovations forward. Due to exposure generated by IPA, past winners have gone on to secure over US$30 million in investments to grow and scale their businesses.

Distributed by APO on behalf of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF).

My experience, my words, my thoughts - WAITRO Management Programme 2017

My experience, my words, my thoughts - WAITRO Management Programme 2017

by Liloutie Chookolingo (Leela) of CARIRI, Triniad and Tobago

During the period of 17–23 July, 2017 I was given the opportunity to participate in the WAITRO Management Programme 2017.  Coming from a small Caribbean Island, Trinidad and Tobago, when the prospect to attend the programme was put forward, the elation of being across the globe into a different time zone and atmosphere was of utmost excitement. Words cannot describe the fireworks of emotions I felt.


Much to my surprise, the fireworks did not end there but continued to grow, thousands of miles away. The experience of this trip brought with it new found friends, friendship that felt as though you were meeting up with long lost family members for the first time, the WAITRO Secretariat left no stone unturned to ensure participants were met with affection and cared for like family.


I often wondered what was so wonderful about being members of WAITRO, why spend on membership fees, what was the benefit to our organisation, what could WAITRO do for us as a small institute?  One could spend time researching what WAITRO is all about. However, being part of the programme brought to light the true essence of the organisation and what it hoped to achieve, the benefits of being a member, the importance of sharing information and knowledge across the globe with the goal of achieving sustainable development and global innovation.  The programme shed light to the meaning of the phrase “The Global Innovation Family”.


The main objective of the programme was to provide participants with a deeper understanding of WAITRO’s functions and activities to assist them in functioning as a contact person for the Board and Regional Focal Points. During the scheduled programme week, participants from CSIR, South Africa; RMRDC, Nigeria; NFI, Thailand; TISTR, Thailand; CISME, China; FhG, Germany; TUBITAK, Turkey; CIDET, Colombia and CARIRI, Trinidad and Tobago made presentations about their organisations, projects completed and those being worked on, what their organisations hoped to achieve under the WAITRO umbrella and the future WAITRO initiatives.  Being privy to the information shared on varying projects and hopes for achievement made the realisation of what can be achieved when great minds come together such as those under WAITRO.


After attending this programme it is with great pride and conviction one takes up the role of being given the responsibility of performing WAITRO-related responsibilities undertaken by the organisation as well as to communicate and work closely with the WAITRO Secretariat.


In closing, I would like to take thank the WAITRO Secretariat for affording me the opportunity to gain experience, knowledge and friendship of a lifetime.



Call for Participation at the 31st Khwarizmi International Award 2018

APEC Symposium on Policy and System for Promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Modernization towards Industry 4.0

Call for Papers


The symposium will be held from September 22-25, 2017 in Hangzhou, China. This symposium is open to participation by all 21 APEC member economies. The following topics will be discussed:

1.   STI policies on promoting MSMEs' modernization;

2. STI application and upgrading on promoting MSMEs' modernization; and

3.   Business climate index of MSMEs driving MSMEs' sustainable development.


For more information, please visit: http://apecmsme.hzccx.com/



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