HAKAINDE HICHILEMA INNOVATION FUND (HHIF) 2023
DEADLINE IS 2ND DECEMBER 2022
The National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab have been implementing the National Innovation Initiative (NII) with support from collaborating partners since 2020. NII is aimed at mapping out the existing innovations across Zambian communities with a view of supporting the most promising initiatives with the highest potential impact.
The Initiative is implemented by the National Innovation Initiative (NII) Partners spearheaded by NTBC and UNDP-Zambia Accelerator Lab in response to the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy of 2020 and indeed the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). Further, the Government aspires to develop the Technology and Innovation Strategy which will among others focus on the following:
- Protect knowledge production by strengthening Intellectual Property Rights and regulatory regimes at all levels
- Promote economic competitiveness through fostering innovation, value addition, industrial development, and entrepreneurship
- Enhance effectiveness of innovation in addressing and implementing priority areas, and
- Improve technical competencies and institutional capacity for innovation development
Since inception, the NII has successfully contributed to several thematic areas as evidenced by the innovations that have been awarded. These innovations have been drawn from the following thematic areas:
- Enhancement of local technologies and innovations
- Wealth creation through innovation
- Food security
- Information Communication Technology
- Disease prevention and control
- Indigenous knowledge utilisation
- Effects of climate change
Objectives of The National Innovation Initiative (NII)
The overall objective of the national innovation initiative (NII) is to scout for innovative solutions for identified challenges in the different parts of the country. Besides being recognized, the innovative solutions will receive support for further commercialisation
- Identification and mapping of innovations especially among the youths, women, differently abled and other marginalised groups across the country in selected thematic areas for experimentation, commercialisation and scale up.
- Recognize and support promising youth and women-led innovations and start-ups based on their innovativeness and potential for commercialisation
- Promote technical assessment/experimentation in the development process of innovative ideas/solutions to generate evidence that can be used to support funding opportunities or scaling up.
- Provide innovators with technical and business development support with the view of enhancing their abilities and commercialisation of their innovations.
- Identify and support local home-grown solutions from innovations that exist within communities.
- Provide the UNDP Solutions Atlas and partners’ databases for innovations to be showcased for matchmaking and partnerships with potential off takers.
- Contribute to the acceleration of the country’s trajectory towards 2030 on selected SDG indicators.
NTBC and UNDP publish a call for concept notes on innovative products and services in the several media to accord an equal opportunity for everyone to participate and to maintain transparency.
As part of the groundwork, the implementing and collaborating partners work with provincial partners (Government and Private) to identify/formulate challenges in the respective provinces. It is these challenges that innovators will be responding to in the call for applications. For 2022, the following are the areas that the innovations/technologies/solutions need to address in responding to the challenges from the ten provinces:
- Waste Management: Efficient and sustainable innovations/technologies/solutions for recycling solid waste with focus on waste plastics, and tyres
- Agriculture: a) Innovations/technologies/solutions aimed at increasing production and productivity in agriculture. b) Agriculture value chains/value addition technologies for processing agro products (sunflower/soya beans)
- Mining: Sustainable artisanal/small-scale mining innovations/technologies/solutions, and
- Energy: Renewable and other alternative energy technologies to mitigate deforestation.
The focus of the call is to support new or improved products/services/process that can assist to overcome societal challenge(s) and as such, the call will be open to any individual, business, or consortiums (referred hereby as ‘Applicants’) The applicant should develop a prototype/product aligned to address the identified challenge within defined timeframe. This NII Challenge Call will provide financial grants for market validation and user testing projects (with a new user group or geographic location) of a product, service/ or process in the respective province of the identified challenge. More specifically, one grant shall be provided for one project in each province.
Evaluation of the Proposals
Once applications have been received, a pre-screening will be conducted to ascertain compliance to the Challenge call criteria. The selection of 10 winning solutions will rest in a panel of judges to be agreed upon. Selected solutions will receive grant funding to run or improve their idea to prototype using the commercialisation process.
The NII call is open to all Zambian institutions and individuals as specified in section 4.2. The general eligibility is that the qualifying solution should be one that will primarily facilitate technology development, transfer, adaptation, adoption, and commercialization. The proposal should demonstrate evidence of innovativeness and competitiveness. The eligibility criteria for projects will be prioritized to products/ processes/ services that:
- have potential for employment and wealth creation
- are in value addition to available local raw materials
- have potential for export
- are a direct or indirect intervention to an identified societal challenge
- have potential to contribute to import substitution
- are innovative projects with high growth potential
- demonstrate some commercial value
Intellectual Property Rights
The ownership of the IPR shall solely belong to the innovator(s)
Type of Support
The awarded innovations will be provided with support to develop, refine, and pilot the innovations in collaboration with the challenge owners, and the relevant support institutions, i.e., research and development institutions, financiers, and regulatory agencies
Terms and Conditions
These terms and conditions apply to the National Innovation Awards (NII). The applicants agree to these terms and conditions when they apply and if not, they are advised not to apply. These terms and conditions may be amended or varied at any time without prior notice. While the amendments will be publicized, it is the responsibility of the applicants to familiarize themselves with the changes
- The applicants must be Zambian and should attach a copy of the National Registration Card to the application for
- Applications can be submitted as individuals or by a group (all group members are required to provide a copy of their National Registration Cards)
- The applications shall be submitted online
- Successful applicants shall be required to sign a contract that shall oblige them to allow NTBC and the UNDP to use their pictures/videos, share information of their innovation with third party for purposes of publicity, and to develop their innovation for possible offtake
- Successful applicants shall be willing to have their innovations availed for testing and willingness/availability to work closely with the identified municipalities
- NTBC may refuse to support a project in an event of non-entitlement under the set terms and conditions or on account of the applicant’s breach of the terms and conditions, criminal activity, fraud, default, and or dishonesty
- NTBC reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual on account of providing false information or violating the terms and conditions
- NTBC may use the information provided by the applicant and their comments for future publicity in any media without notice or any additional compensation
- NTBC does not accept responsibility for any business failure, loss, malfunction, damage, disappointment or fault that may be incurred by the applicant or the proposed product howsoever arising from participating in this call whether due to error, omission, or any other cause by the NTBC, its employees air others acting within the law
- NTBC reserves the right to make the final selection decision
- All applications should be received by 23:59 hours on 30th November 2022. All applications received after this date will not be considered for this call.
How to apply