The German-African Innovation Incentive Award – GAIIA

The 'German-African Innovation Incentive Award' is a instrument of the BMBF to strengthen innovative research in Africa and to translate research results into practical solutions that benefit African societies. The aim is to improve the living conditions of people in Africa. German-African partnerships are an important success factor.

Federal Research Minster Anja Karliczek and the four awardees 2018 © BMBF/ Hans-Joachim Rickel

Federal Research Minster and the four awardees 2018 © BMBF/ Hans-Joachim Rickel

The award honours outstanding achievements already made by African researchers and at the same time enables a German-African follow-up project with which the research results can be further developed in the direction of future exploitation. In this way, the award supports German research and innovation players in expanding their cooperation with African partners.

The prize is endowed with 150,000 € and is awarded in the form of a grant. This will go to the German partner institution with which the African scientist is carrying out the joint two-year research and innovation project. At least half of the grant is for use by the African partner.

On the basis of a utilisation or exploitation concept, the German-African project aims to transfer research results with technical or social-innovative potential into practical solutions that meet the needs of African societies. If possible, the funded project should go beyond the pure project results and form the basis for the establishment of a sustainable innovation structure (e.g. research-based small enterprise).

In May 2018, the then Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek awarded the prize for the first time to four African scientists and their German cooperation partners.

Awardees of the 1st call and excellent projects
Awardees of the 2nd call and excellent projects

Following the second call for proposals published on 27 September 2018, six scientists from Africa (Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda) and their German cooperation partners received the award for their excellent research results with high potential for use and exploitation. The projects were selected by a high-ranking jury of German and African experts from 46 submitted applications. The award ceremony planned for 18 March 2020 in Berlin by then Federal Minister Anja Karliczek could not take place. The projects started in June 2020.