ORIGIN Innovation Challenge

Call for Applications



Origin is Africa’s premier research and innovation lab where the brightest minds in science, arts, engineering and media come together to solve technological and development challenges. The brainchild of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and supported by the Mastercard Foundation, Origin’s ethos is informed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the Africa we want.

Origin’s mission is to bridge the academia-private sector gap by promoting interdisciplinary research and innovation with a primary focus on product (i.e., goods and services) development, innovation management and commercialization.  To achieve this mission, Origin will consist of five regional research and innovation labs in Africa’s five regions that will work closely with the private sector, researchers and innovators.

As a preparatory step, ECA has launched three calls:

 1. Innovation Challenge Call for Firms and Institutions

Unlock your growth potential: Up to $10,000 for entities facing transformative challenges and are willing and able to implement the solution if one is found. All legal entities – individual entrepreneurs and innovators, firms, institutions and public entities in Africa – except UN entities and those linked to Origin – may submit ONLY one challenge. Click Here for More.

2. Youth Innovation Call

Contribute tangibly to Africa’s transformation. Up to $5,000 for youth teams that offer implementable transformative solutions to challenges faced by entrepreneurs, firms and public entities.  Shortlisted teams will also be invited to showcase their innovations at UNECA and Origin events and attend the Youth Design and Innovation Bootcamp. Click Here for More.

 3. Call for Origin Solver

Are you good at solving puzzling and complex challenges and problems faced by others but have limited avenues to contribute? Join Origin’s growing community of solvers and contribute to Africa’s sustainable development. Reward of up to $5000 for winning solutions accepted by the challenge owners. Click Here for More.


September 24, 2021
OrganizerUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Sectors Sector agnostic