By Sharon Atieno

The African Academy of Sciences has announced a commitment worth US$ 4 million to accelerate innovations with the highest potential for impact sustainable scalability needed to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This will be its second Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa) ‘Transition to Scale’ call.

“We are fully committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through rapidly scaling up and harnessing bold scientific innovations that show potential to provide sustainable solutions to complex health and developmental challenges faced by African countries.” Professor Nelson Torto, Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences. 

Through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), a second call for funding has been announced to address the challenges and support the scaling and sustainability of health interventions in Africa. 

The funding available for the Transition to scale ranges from $100,001 to $1,000,000,with the selected innovators being funded through grants or a blend between grant and a debt.  Invited grantees are eligible to apply for a follow-on transition to scale or scaling grant with a term of up to thirty-six (36) months.

Post proof on concept innovators specializing in health and well-being, environment and climate change, social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and policy and governance who are positioned to scale-up their innovative solutions for the attainment of the SDGs are encouraged to submit their applications.  

Final applications will be evaluated by the GC Africa decision committee based on key criteria such as the ability to demonstrate integrated innovation, impact, entrepreneurship, smart partnerships, sustainability, execution and compliance.  

The mentorship, training, networking and collaboration opportunities offered will help build the capacity of the innovations and fast track the potential to reach scale for lasting outcomes.  

The Transition to Scale call for applications will  be opened for a period of six weeks, from 22nd May 2020 at 1700hrs EAT to 30th June 2020 at 2300hrs EAT.   Applications should be channeled through the Ishango Grants Management System