Johnson & Johnson has launched the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0, the second continent-wide competition calling on African innovators to submit ideas for innovative technologies, products and solutions that have the potential to create positive impact for African communities. The challenge focuses on identifying scalable and sustainable solutions to six major health and environmental problems for Africa’s population.
Solution Categories for the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0
The challenge’s six new solution categories aim to address significant threats to Africa’s health care systems and environment:
- Botanical Solutions: Sixty to eighty percent of households in Africa still rely on traditional medicine to care for themselves and loved ones.We are seeking naturally-derived, plant-based solutions that tap into traditional knowledge and deliver consumer health and wellness benefits through topical application.
- Packaging Innovations: Managing packaging waste from the increasing consumption in Africa is a challenge for many communities. We are seeking 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: Caring for someone with mental illness, especially the youth, can be very challenging for rural communities. As a result, 75-85% of persons living with mental illness in Africa may not have access to mental health care. We are seeking 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: African front line health workers experience high rates of stress and burnout due to the heavy burden of disease and marked health system challenges. We are seeking innovations that support the well being and resilience of nurses, midwives and community health workers at the heart of delivering care.
- Digital Health Tools: The African continent has the world's poorest health outcomes, with HIV, TB, Mental Health, Maternal Health and Ebola having especially large impact particularly on women. We are seeking digital tools (including apps and other mobile/web/data enabled tech) for these important health care areas that can inform, educate, communicate and connect people to treatment, support and care through their reach and information and improve health outcomes especially for women.
- Essential Surgical Care: A significant portion of the burden of disease in Africa can be treated with surgery. However, many health facilities in certain areas do not have the capacity to deliver even basic surgical services. We are seeking innovations that promote access to timely, safe, and skilled surgical care.
What you get
Challenge participants with the best solutions will receive up to US$50,000 in funding and mentorship from the global network of scientists, engineers and business managers within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to bring new solutions forward.