Reuben College is delighted to be working with AfOx – the Africa Oxford Initiative – to establish a new platform to support African innovators to develop new solutions to Africa’s health challenges. The initiative has been made possible in part thanks to a grant from the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund.
The Africa Health Innovation Platform will bring together Oxford University’s cross-disciplinary research and resources with a wide range of social, innovation and business expertise, that are necessary for understanding contexts and drivers around successful innovation and policy change. It will deliver training and mentorship opportunities for emerging African innovators to support all stages in the innovation to implementation journey and accelerate solutions to Africa’s health challenges. Both Chris Paton and Peter Drobac have been working with AfOx to co-develop the platform with other partners across the UK and Africa.
Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050 and will account for more than half of global population growth. Africa is also the youngest continent in the world, with a median age of most African countries under 20 years. There is an explosion of talent in innovation, entrepreneurship, new ideas and technology-led solutions across the continent. The Africa Health Innovation Platform will help harness this talent to develop new approaches towards prevention, early detection and treatment of diseases.
The initiative will initially run for two years, with 50 outstanding emerging African innovators selected each year to develop their new solutions for health challenges. The candidates will receive bespoke interactive on-line training and an opportunity to use virtual workrooms to further work on their ideas. A selection of the candidates with outstanding projects will also be awarded AfOx Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellowships for face-to-face training, mentorship and technical collaborative support in Oxford.
AfOx is leading the development and implementation of the Africa Health Innovation Platform, with Reuben College and key partners including: Grand Challenges Africa at the African Academy of Sciences, The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Oxford Foundry, TORCH and the Said Business School Africa Initiative.
Applications for African innovators to participate in the Platform will open in 2021. Prospective applicants are invited to sign up to the AfOx mailing list to keep informed to the application process: http://www.afox.ox.ac.uk/sign-up/.