South Africa’s Dr Nicolaas Duneas and Nuno Peres have won the grand prize Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014 taking home USD 100,000 for the Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBM TM), the first injectable porcine derived BMP medical device in the world.
The Altis OBM TM is for the treatment of bone injuries and voids through the use of a regenerative biological implant.
The two were selected from about 700 applications from 42 countries and were announced winners at the Awards ceremony hosted by the African Innovation Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria where Honorable Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister delivered the Keynote speech.
Osteoporosis is on the rise in Africa, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation of South Africa (NOFSA), especially among African women, due to urbanization and a general lack of awareness and contrary to popular culture, figure-conscious females who watch their weight impact negatively on the density of their bones and increase their risk of contracting bone diseases.
Before the Altis OBM was invented, patients with serious bone trauma or degradation would have to endure the removal of bone tissue from their own hips or from deceased donors in the hopes of undergoing successful bone crafting surgery- both very invasive methods.
The injection of OBM leads to the rapid, safe and effective healing of problematic bone injuries, leading to the complete and natural restoration of the bone, including the bone marrow. OBM is the only bone graft substitute containing naturally extracted bone growth proteins that cooperate with high efficacy and are sourced from mammals, making it cost effective to produce.
The two runners up include- business potential category, Logou Minsob (Togo) received USD 25,000 for his Foufou Mix, a food processor designed to replace the mortar and pestles used to prepare Foufou, a popular dish in West Africa while in the social impact category, Melesse Temesgen (Ethiopia) received USD 25 000 for developing the Aybar Broad Based Furrow Maker (BBM), a low-cost farming device that is used to easily drain excess water from waterlogged fields.
“This year’s Innovation Prize for Africa winners showcase that Africans can find solutions to African challenges,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. “We encourage partners from both the public and the private sectors to coherently work together to support African innovation.”
Winners were selected by a skilled panel of jurors based on the marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and business potential of their respective innovations. They are provided with unrestricted funds in recognition of their achievements and are free to use the Prize to take their innovations to the next level..
“We are delighted by this recognition,” said Nuno Peres, Altis OBM Chief Executive of Business Development. “Our team has managed the development of Altis OBM over the past 10 years, from the initial idea to commercialization, with the hope that the innovation will radically change the way orthopedic surgeons treat bones injuries. Winning the IPA gets us closer to that goal.”
Founded by the The African Innovation Foundation (AIF), the IPA is focused on building Africa’s capacity by investing in homegrown innovation. The Prize mobilizes leaders from all sectors – private sector, donors and government – to promote and invest in African development through innovation. The foundation believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face on a daily basis can and will come from Africans themselves.
And if you have a great idea, you havent been left out. In July 2014, IPA will call for applications for IPA 2015 so keep your eye on the ground or follow them on Twitter. or online at The African Innovation Foundation.