The Nigerian Society of Engineers is delighted to announce the call for the 2015 National Engineering Innovation Prize (NEIP) applications. The NEIP honours and encourages innovative ideas and inventions in technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities with potential of contributing to sustainable development in Nigeria.
It is important to note that: the NEIP is differentiated from other prizes by assessing both hi-tech versus low-tech innovations and tangible products versus intangible social processes on the same plane. This provides an opportunity for innovators from a wide spectrum of educational and social backgrounds to compete at the same level and the only determining success factor in all instances is how the innovations are assessed on the key indicators.
The NEIP anticipates contributing to the following outcomes:
Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Nigeria
Increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies, accelerated growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and increased economic activity that results in lasting impact.
A strong innovation ecosystem
NEIP PRIORITY AREAS
The NEIP recognizes innovative breakthroughs that unlock new potentials in the following five priority areas. The award is not restricted to these areas therefore if there are innovations in a different thematic area applications can still be submitted for entry.
Agriculture and Environment
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in both agriculture and environment, particularly, value added at specific points of the agricultural value-chain. It is about providing new ways to ensure a food-secure future. The innovation could be about commercial and market-oriented farming as well as small-scale and subsistence farming.
Transportation, Energy, Water and Housing
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in developing or applying cost-effective, smart renewable energy generation processes, cleaner water supply systems, effective transport systems etc. It is about the way we adapt to climate challenges and steward our natural resources to impact the inheritance we leave to the future generations of Nigerians.
Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)
Innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies (e.g. in communities) or economy, including: software, mobile/wireless technologies and local language software. It is about developing new solutions that address everyday challenges that help Nigerians live and work more effectively.
Manufacturing and Service Industry
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in addressing the key pillars of innovation in production technology/industry: created high added-value, greener, more customer -focused and/or high quality products; manufacturing more with less input materials, using lowest energy and creating fewest or zero waste. It is about helping people across the continent literally build better lives.
OIL AND GAS
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead within the upstream, midstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Especially innovations that are committed to health, safety and environmental friendliness.
2. APPLICATION GUIDELINES
You should consider submitting your application if you are a Nigerian student, entrepreneur, corporate entity, academic and research institution with an innovation that could potentially provide a solution to some of the everyday challenges.
Below are specific guidelines on who can apply and how to apply:
Eligible innovations MUST be by Nigerians. Nigerians in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Nigeria.
An application with a full description of the innovation must be sequentially explained with pictorial representation using PowerPoint.
The innovation description should clearly illustrate the social and/or economic outcome and impact with regard to Africa development and the priority area chosen, and should be in line with the NEIP assessment and selection criteria.
Application and description of the innovation should be in English.
Applicants have the option to attach a letter of support/endorsement from an institution or an authority with knowledge of their innovation. This will serve as a testimony of how important the innovation is in addressing development challenges faced by Nigerians.
There is no application fee.
3. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
In the overall assessment of winning applications, the winners are established with reference to:
The uniqueness of their innovations and superiority to similar or alternative solutions;
The size and nature of positive social impact that can be attributed to application of their innovation;
The potential of the innovation to become a commercial success.
In arriving at an assessment of the application, the Selection Panel will evaluate a submitted innovation against the following five criteria:
The following are the five criteria to be considered:
Originality: The uniqueness of the product and its superiority in comparison with similar or alternative products in the market;
Marketability: The extent to which the innovation sufficiently addresses the problem it seeks to solve at a price or model that is accessible to the target market;
Scalability: The extent to which the innovation can be easily applied to other similar markets beyond the applicant’s immediate or local environment;
Social impact: The ability of the innovation to create or effect positive or desirable changes within the target community and beyond;
Scientific/technical aspects: For tangible technical/scientific products; this refers to the extent to which the technical/scientific specifications of the innovation are grounded on established science and sufficiently address any anticipated product risks.
The 2015 NEIP will consist of three Prize categories, awarded on three separate levels for each category. They are:
1. Schools (Student, Institutions of learning and research)
2. Individuals: These are self-sponsored and independent of any organisation
3. Corporate organisations and industry giants.
Levels of award in each category are;
First Prize (N20M): This prize will be awarded to the innovator with the overall best innovation that meets all the above-mentioned NEIP criteria and has a clear business potential.
Second Prize (N10M): This prize will be given to the selected innovator with a commercially-driven innovation. In addition to the aforementioned criteria, this category of award will be carefully assessed on its marketability potential and will be awarded to the innovation with the best commercial/business potential.
Third Prize (N5M): This category of award will be assessed carefully on its particular social impact in the community/country and will be awarded to the innovation with the best social impact.
4. GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
The following are the terms and conditions governing the NEIP:
The selection of the eventual NEIP winners entails a rigorous process designed to ensure the integrity of the process and quality participation at each level. By submitting an application for this prize, it means applicants are aware of this process and agrees to adhere to it. No exceptions will be made to any applicant and failure to participate at any level will lead to disqualification from subsequent levels.
By accepting Innovation Prize, the winners will be requested to play an active role in promoting their innovations and NEIP in general.
By accepting the Prize, the winners would also be accepting to dedicate some time to be an ambassador for NEIP.
NEIP reserves the right to withdraw the Prize at any time, if a selected applicant is found ineligible or does not fulfil the conditions laid down for the Prize. Any misrepresentation of any kind will lead to removal from the competition.
All applicants are required to declare who the owner of the innovation is and failure to disclose ownership may lead to disqualification. In case the innovation has been undertaken in collaboration with others, the names and contacts of the other collaborators need to be specified. Also, in this case, all collaborators must specify in writing that they agree that the applicant will be the recipient of the prize in case their innovation is declared as the winner of either one of the three Prizes.
The decision of the NEIP selection panel shall be final.
Any monetary awards received will be strictly applied for purposes of furthering the innovation.
To avoid conflict of interest, NEIP selection panel members, technical validation experts, members of the sponsoring institutions and their family members shall not be eligible to submit an entry.
The NEIP secretariat will ensure the strict protection of Intellectual Property rights, and everyone involved in the NEIP selection process will be required to sign a NEIP Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
The NEIP Secretariat reserves the right to compile and analyze the data collected during the course of the competition in furtherance of the objectives of the organization. No such use however shall entail the disclosure of personal or confidential information.
The NEIP secretariat might contact the applicants after the competition to propose various options including networking and business opportunities.
NEIP selection process follows specific guidelines associated with the NEIP governance structure, which involves the following three groups with specific roles:
All received applications are subjected to a rigorous multi-tier assessment/evaluation process based on the NEIP five weighted criteria. Below is a summary of steps involved in the NEIP selection process with the timeline:
1. Pre-screening: The NEIP secretariat assesses that the received applications meet the minimum requirements. This is done throughout the competition period.
2. Shortlisting: Shortlisting will be undertaken by the selection panel composed of jurors from private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, development leaders and academia.
3. Background Checks: The NEIP secretariat will carry out background checks on ownership and authenticity of the shortlisted innovations. If needed, applicants may be contacted and site visits may also be carried out.
4. Selection Panel meeting: The NEIP jurors meet to deliberate on the innovations to be forwarded to the technical validation experts.
5. Technical Validation: Technical experts from reputable institutions will carry out validation and will evaluate the innovativeness of the recommended applications.
6. Phone Interviews: The selection panel will conduct phone interviews to determine the NEIP nominees who would be invited to the face to face interviews. The nominees will be announced in August.
8. Awards Ceremony: NEIP 2015 winners will be announced and awarded at a special ceremony. Venue and exact date will be announced and will be posted on NEIP and NSE website and other social media channel.
5. SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES
A full description of the innovation must accompany each submission; otherwise the entry will be disqualified. Each mandatory question must be answered fully and making a reference to the attachments does not replace answering the question and would lead to disqualification. Please note that there is no fee to apply.
Options for submitting your application:
You can submit your application by clicking on the link below
For any questions regarding the NEIP application process, please check first the website and if you still have questions then contact the NSE Secretariat:
Telephone:08032356528, 08062381279, 07039868837
7. CLOSING DATE
The closing date for the NEIP 2015 Application is midnight, Friday, 31st July, 2015.