South African Female Scientist Wins US$ 25 000 at IPA Awards


Hundreds of innovators, entrepreneurs, government officials, media and His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco all graced the Innovation Prize for Africa 2015 Awards with their presence on 14 May 2015 hosted by the African Innovation Foundation in Morocco.

Professor Lesley Erica Scott and McLean Sibanda (CEO of The Innovation Hub)

Every year, the Innovation Prize for Africa grows in its entries to the competition that encourages innovations that contribute toward developing new African products that increase efficiency or cost-saving in the areas of manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water and ICT – but this year was a little different. The competition introduced incentives in the effort of attracting more women and young people which resulted in the highest number of entries to 925 from 41 countries across the continent. South African scientist Professor Lesley Erica Scott was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact, receiving US$25,000 and value-added services for developing the SmartSpot TBCheck. World Health Organization approved SmartSpot TB Check will contribute to the efficiency of Tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment which has saved an estimated 37 million lives between 2000 and 2013.

Professor Lesley Erica Scott also took the first prize in the Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) innovation competitions in the Biosciences category – annual competitions hosted by The Innovation Hub in the areas of ICT, biosciences, green and medical technologies. As Africa’s first internationally accredited science and technology park, The Innovation Hub is proud to provide an enabling environment and promote initiatives that support innovation, enterprise development and human capital development especially in the male-dominated fields of science and technology.

Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor was quoted as saying, “I was pleased to learn that Professor Lesley Scott of the University of Witwatersrand won the social impact prize in the Innovation Prize for Africa Awards held […] in Morocco, and that this innovation will lead to the creation of the first WITS University spin-off company in over five years.”

The overall winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa 2015 was Moroccan researcher Adnane Remmal who received US$100,000 for his patented innovation that provides a substitute to African farmers to improve livestock production and does not harm the consumers. Kenyan entrepreneur Alex Mwaura Murui was awarded US$25 00 for his innovation, the Farm Capital Africa project, which assists African farmers access funding use to finance planting and harvesting activities.

Press Release distributed by The Innovation Hub