News:Fall Armyworm Tech Prize: Focusing on Sparking Innovations for African Smallholder Farmers

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Deadline: 14 May 2018

Nominations are open for Fall Armyworm Tech Prize that is focused on sourcing and sparking innovations for African smallholder farmers and those that work with them.

The Fall Armyworm Tech Prize is a Feed the Future prize being funded by The U.S. Agency for International Development (“USAID”) via DAI Global LLC (“DAI”) and is being implemented by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, through Nesta Enterprises Limited a wholly owned subsidiary company of Nesta (together referred to as “Nesta”) together with Africommunications Group Limited.

The prize is designed to inspire a broad range of global applicants, and would also like to encourage sub-Saharan African-led innovation. It is seeking digital tools and approaches that provide timely, context-specific information that enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat, and track incidence of fall armyworm in Africa.

The prize seeks solutions that:

Enable smallholder farmers and those who support them to accurately identify incidence of fall armyworm in their crops.

Produce timely, context appropriate, and empowering insights for smallholder farmers to treat the incidence of fall armyworm.

Reduce productivity losses caused by fall armyworm among those using the tool or approach.

Ensure the appropriate and responsible use of pest management assessments, tools, and interventions.

Prize Information

Five prizes totalling $400,000 in prizes will be made as follows:

One grand prize of $150,000 to the most viable solution

Two significant awards of $75,000 to the most promising solutions

Two up and comer awards of $50,000 to early stage developments that show the most potential

Eligibility Criteria

Open to All: The prize is open to solutions from individuals, groups, organizations and companies globally, particularly local innovators from sub-Saharan Africa. As part of USAID’s ongoing commitment to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, They particularly encourage competing teams that involve women in all steps of your tool or approach’s formulation, management, and execution.

Local Applicability: Though the call is global and solvers can come from all over the world, the solutions will be tested and applied in field contexts in sub-Saharan Africa.

Willingness to Share Learning: All entrants need to demonstrate a willingness to share their experiences and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a sustained change in smallholder farmer outreach, awareness, and action with respect to digital tools and plant health, as well as pest and disease management.

Prototyping Skills: Applicants need to ensure they have the capacity to adapt their existing solution to address FAW, or, to develop a prototype of the solution within the prize time frame. Limited support will be provided to help achieve this, but applicants must be able to develop and test prototypes during the course of the prize, if selected.

Intellectual Property: Applicants must have rights to all of the intellectual property in the submission. Applicants will retain the intellectual property rights to their entry to the prize. Such intellectual property must be clearly marked as proprietary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they are not infringing on the intellectual property of others.

Incomplete Entries: Incomplete entries may be removed from the competition. This applies to any stage of submission for the Prize and also relates to missing documentation that may have been requested.

Applications in English: Entries need to be submitted in English by 14th May 2018, 23:59 ET, and will be assessed against the judging criteria for the Prize.

USAID Responsibility Determination: USAID will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure that award to the organization meets applicable U.S. laws, including regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via given website.

For more information, please visit:


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