The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies comprises of one of the world’s
largest health care companies and is drawing on over 85 years of engagement in
Africa in over 25 countries, and are proud to support Africa’s rapidly advancing
The Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 is designed to address the critical unmet
needs of the continent and local communities in Africa while providing support to
Africa-based entrepreneurs in creating innovative health care products and
services. Among the selection criteria, entries must demonstrate the potential for
scale from proof of concept stage to long-term sustainability. 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
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.iii We are
seeking naturally-derived, plant-based solutions that tap into traditional
knowledge and deliver consumer health and wellness benefits through
• 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
• 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
iv 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 frontline 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
wellbeing 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
We are seeking innovations that promote access to timely, safe,
and skilled surgical care.
Challenge submissions may originate from anywhere in Africa, and from one or more individuals, teams or companies; subject to certain eligibility requirements set out in the terms and conditions for the challenge. The submitted health care solutions will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:
1) Idea submission addresses at least one of the six challenge categories.
2) Idea submission is innovative and creative.
3) Idea submission is scalable.
4) Idea submission outlines how the award would help the applicant(s) reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provides a full commercialization plan.
To apply to the Challenge and review the applicable terms and conditions, please
visit the Africa Innovation Challenge official webpage
The deadline to submit applications is
January 16, 2019.
Award recipients will be announced in Spring 2019.