Mobile gadget library for schools wins audience vote for Martin Bruce at Africa Prize Live

Article Source: Royal Academy of Engineers

Martin Bruce from Ghana, Co-Founder and Business Analyst for Lab and Library on Wheels, a mobile, solar-hybrid cart with gadgets and e-learning resources to encourage reading and teach STEAM subjects in under-resourced schools, has been announced as winner of the public vote at Africa Prize Live. Martin pitched his engineering innovation with the other entrepreneurs shortlisted for the Africa Prize 2020 at the Royal Academy of Engineering, London, on Thursday 23 January 2020.

The event gave shortlisted candidates the opportunity to test their communication skills and expand their networks, in the run up to the June 2020 Africa Prize final event in Accra, Ghana, by explaining their business ideas to a room full of dignitaries, UK investors, entrepreneurs, engineers and media. The shortlisted engineering entrepreneurs have had intensive pitch training as part of their package of support from the Royal Academy of Engineering. The benefits of being shortlisted for the Africa Prize include comprehensive and tailored business training, bespoke mentoring, funding and access to the Academy’s network of high profile, experienced engineers and business experts in the UK and across Africa.

Dr Ibilola Amao, Africa Prize judge and Founder and Principal Consultant of Lonadek Consulting, said:

 “I am very impressed with the standards and the quality of the presentations at Africa Prize Live and I’m looking forward to the final in Ghana as I can see it’s going to be very competitive. It’s also really exciting to see so many accomplished female ‘STEMpreneurs’ building companies that will achieve huge social impact and make a real contribution to Africa’s development.”

The entrepreneurs are three months into their Africa Prize training and were in London to participate in the UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted by the UK Prime Minister. One of the shortlisted entrepreneurs, David Tusubira of Remot, spoke in a session on clean energy, while alumni of the Africa Prize and the Academy’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme also attended as delegates and exhibitors. All attended the Sustainable Infrastructure Forum reception at St James’ Palace on Tuesday night.

The Africa Prize, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

This year’s shortlist includes the creators of a smart library on wheels, facial recognition software to prevent financial fraud, a low-cost digital microscope to speed up cervical cancer diagnosis, bamboo bicycles made from recycled parts, and two innovations made from invasive water hyacinth plants: an animal feed and a cooking fuel.

The Africa Prize 2020 shortlist was announced in November last year in Cape Town.

Read more about the shortlist here

Notes for Editors

  1. About the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive £25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000.

The Africa Prize is generously supported by The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

Find out more about the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund here

Find out more about the Global Challenges Research Fund here

Judges and mentors of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation have provided over 1,970 hours of support to entrepreneurs since the prize was established – this equates to a value of roughly £985,000 in support. This year, they are:

  • Chair of judges: Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng, President of the Energy Institute and Chair of EngineeringUK
  • Dr Ibilola Amao, Founder and Principal Consultant, Lonadek Consulting
  • Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO, AppsTech
  • Mariéme Jamme, co-founder of Africa Gathering and founder of #iamtheCODE and SpotOne Global Solutions
  • Dr John Lazar CBE FREng, angel investor and technology start-up mentor

More information about the Africa Prize can be found here

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession. 

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

For more information please contact: Victoria Runcie at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 0207 766 0620; email: victoria.runcie@raeng.org.uk


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