Johnson & Johnson has launched the Africa Innovation Challenge, an initiative designed to support and develop the continent’s entrepreneurs as well as help to develop locally sustainable consumer health solutions.

The challenge also serves the company’s approach to advancing health and global innovation and will focus on promoting early child development and maternal health; empowering young women; and improving family well-being.

“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 healthcare challenges,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson, Dr Paul Stoffels.

“With its focus on consumer healthcare, the Africa Innovation Challenge will help to surface important issues impacting local communities,” said Chief Technology Officer at  Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., Josh Ghaim.

“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,” continued Ghaim.

The winners will receive up to $ 100,000 in funding and mentorship from Johnson & Johnson’s scientists, engineers and researchers.

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

Award recipients will be announced in February 2017.

The competition is open to one or more individuals, teams or companies; subject to the requirements set out in the challenge’s terms and conditions.

“The Africa Innovation Challenge is an exciting initiative for our entrepreneurial and scientific communities,” said Director of Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Thomas Maina Kariuki.

“The challenge provides the kind of mentorship and resources that can really advance an entrepreneur’s vision, and it showcases the terrific young talent across Africa. AAS is proud to support this initiative and we look forward to collaborating throughout the challenge,” concluded Kariuki.

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