During the interactive Innovation Marketplace at the USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)  technical convening TechCon 2016 in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston USA, November 10-12, 2016, innovators from Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Public Health-ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) scooped top two cash prizes out of 24 competitors in the category of Products and Services. Elijah Djan, an Innovator from RAN’s Southern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab working on the Nubrix project-‘re-cycling paper to produce bricks, walked away with the 1st prize worth USD 2,500  while Grace Nakibaala, an architect from Makerere University working on the Pedal Tap Innovation ‘non-touch water dispensing system’ won in the 2nd place USD 1,500. Additionally, Bonita Nanziri, an innovator working on a sickle cell anaemia diagnosis kit-MDEX, won the 1st place private sector prize out of 32 competitors. The prize was on Engineering and Design Review from ASME Engineering 4 Change out of 32 competitors. This team will also benefit from a full technical analysis of their innovations’ business model working towards further developing the same. “This is additional proof that the creativeness and knowledge within Makerere University is indeed rich and can be further explored to aid launching of the next game changer not only in Uganda and Africa, but also in the world” noted one of the TechCon 2016 participants as she interacted with the winners.

Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director who also led this team while congratulating the students added that’ “It is good to work hard and work hard and win”. Prof. Bazeyo was flanked by Prof. David Serwadda, a Professor of Disease control and Environmental Health at Makerere School of Public Health and the RAN Technical Adviser.

Makerere University is living up to its motto, ‘We Build for the Future’.

TechCon 2016 convened researchers, students, entrepreneurs and innovators, development experts, field practitioners, and private sector representatives – all focused on highlighting cutting-edge solutions to critical development challenges. Over the course of 3 days, during 26 technical sessions and 9 plenary sessions, over 100 speakers shared their visions, failures, successes, ideas and science and technology solutions for development. TechCon also hosted an Innovation Marketplace, where young innovators from within HESN and outside of the network had the chance to compete for prizes to further their innovations. The Innovation Marketplace concluded with a live pitch competition to the audience and voting: https://storify.com/GlobalDevLab/hesn-techcon-2016

Details about TechCon2016 are accessible here https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/nov-7-2016-usaid-and-mit-host-techcon-2016 and you can also follow the conversation on #TechCon2016 @USGlobalDevLab @AfricaResilient @MakerereU.

Details about the HESN Labs is accessible here https://www.usaid.gov/hesn/about.

‘Solution through Innovation’

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