NEF Innovation Challenge 2023 ($10,000 Grant) – APPLY NOW

Call for Applications for NEF Innovation Challenge 2023! The Africa Energy Innovation Challenge is currently in its 8th edition, the challenge is organized by the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF), offering an amazing opportunity for early-stage energy entrepreneurs across the continent of Africa.

NEF Innovation Challenge

The challenge invites these entrepreneurs to collaborate with local research institutions or industries, with the aim of developing equipment for a social energy enterprise, agri-business, fintech solutions, or energy management system with the use of local resources.

NEF Innovation Challenge 2023

The NEF Innovation Challenge welcomes proposals in four innovation tracks for early-stage energy entrepreneurs from Africa, the four tracks include:

  1. Clean Energy Solutions for Agro-industry
  2. Energizing Healthcare & Education
  3. Smart Metering & Artificial Intelligence
  4. Electrification of Transport/ Oil & Gas

About Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF)

One of the most pressing energy challenges in Africa is how to electrify millions of households, communities, and businesses as quickly as possible. The 8th Nigeria Energy Forum 2023 (NEF2023) aims to address this challenge by focusing on safer, cleaner, and sustainable energy services for all.

The forum will offer a capacity-building, training, and development program for policymakers, business leaders, energy innovators, professional engineers, industry experts, and academics in Nigeria and other African countries.

Benefits of NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge

The NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge offers numerous benefits to participants. The challenge will be led by an independent panel of industry experts and experienced development professionals from public and private sector institutions, who will select the finalists and winners.

A minimum of one winner will be awarded grant prizes, and 20 shortlisted entries will be offered an opportunity to fully participate in the 2023 (8 edition) NEF event. Additionally, winners of the competition will have the opportunity to:

  • Be awarded a cash prize grant of up to USD 10,000 to demonstrate or scale their proposed solutions.
  • Present their proposed prototype model during the 2023 NEF event using a poster and short video.
  • Have strong network opportunities with other young professionals and senior decision-makers in government, international development, academia, and the private sector.
  • Attend business development workshops, which will enable them to receive needed support from a dedicated start-up incubator.

Criteria to Participate in NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge

  • The NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge is open to young professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 years from Africa.
  • Participants can submit applications either individually or as a team of at least three people.
  • Teams may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, or countries.
  • Teams that are led by Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation will be made in the first round of Submissions based on the features outlined below:

  • Local Content: The submission must be seen to utilize local content and also show the use of local expertise, and present efficient solutions for powering these areas: agriculture, education, healthcare, industries, etc. Furthermore, the proposed solutions must have the potential to impact large numbers of people, households, and/or businesses.
  • Originality and Creativity: The proposed solutions provided are original and creative in areas that are either underdeveloped or severely underdeveloped in research and literature.
  • Commercial Viability: The prototype model should be applicable to real-life situations, practical, and cost-efficient, and must also address obvious obstacles and state commercial arrangements using a specific prototype model.
  • Clarity: The Ideas provided should be presented in a clear and concise manner with a realistic completion timeline.

How to Apply for NEF Innovation Challenge 2023?

To participate in the NEF Africa Energy Innovation Challenge, submit your proposed prototype model, which must not exceed one side of an A4 page, and include the following details:

  • Project Title: Your solution (250 words)
  • Innovation Track: Expected impact (50 words)
  • Short Abstract: (50 words)
  • Design Tools and Method: (50 words)
  • Problem Statement: (50 words)
  • Estimated Costs and Timeline: (50 words)

For more details about this challenge, kindly visit the official NEF website at:

NEF Innovation Challenge Timeline

  • Call for proposal: 15 May 2023
  • Deadline for Early Proposal submission: June 15, 2023
  • Physical Event & Past Winners Tag-up: July 18, 2023
  • Deadline for proposal submission: August 31, 2023
  • Final round Shortlisting: September 15, 2023
  • Final submissions: October 15, 2023
  • Video pitch, posters & awards: November 23, 2023

Application Deadline

August 31, 2023.

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