Africa’s first Assistive Technology Accelerator, Innovate Now, is launching the third call for application from innovators across the African continent to develop technologies and services designed to assist people living with disabilities around the theme of the Future of Inclusive Employment.
Led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub as part of the AT2030 Programme, Innovate Now is implemented by Amref Enterprises Limited (AEL). This themed cohort will also partner with the i2i initiative.
Director of Innovate Now, Bernard Chiira says “We are delighted to launch the third Innovate Now call, as we begin Cohort 3 of the accelerator with a focus on Inclusive Employment. Over the past year, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of the accelerator programme, enabling African pioneers to develop ideas and early-stage products into market-ready Assistive Technologies - capable of changing lives. Like the rest of the world, we have adapted to COVID-19. Our third cohort will be digital, maximising accessibility and opportunity to disabled innovators across the region.”
Innovate Now supports startups to create technologies and services enabling persons with disabilities to find quality employment and flourish in the workplace by accessing assistive technology. With ambitions to support 60 startups, the programme has already seen two successful cohorts around mobile solutions and general assistive technology.
The future of inclusive employment cohort is looking to support startups who leverage digital platforms to match people with disabilities with job opportunities, accessibility products to improve the work environment and startups who creatively finance assistive technology through employers.
Beginning in November 2020 for 12 weeks, the accelerator will provide a hands-on approach delivering curriculum implementation, expert mentorship and user research through a Live Labs network to accelerate scalable assistive technologies.
Africa is the youngest and fastest-growing continent in the world. There is a unique opportunity to accelerate inclusive workplaces, providing wider societal benefits from reducing poverty to improving economies. According to the International Monetary Fund, population growth on the continent means that by 2035, there will be more young people entering Africa’s workforce each year than in the rest of the globe combined.
Innovators with passion for change and a product or idea around the future of inclusive employment are encouraged to apply and be part of this groundbreaking new approach to empower African pioneers to build an inclusive world.
Apply now at atinnovatenow.com/apply
The Innovate Now project provides advanced user-centred design, business and technical support to over 60 start-ups to develop assistive technology innovations, products and services. Innovate Now was launched in June 2019 and is funded by UK Aid, through Global Disability Innovation Hub (AT2030 lead partner) and is being led by Amref Enterprises Limited (AEL) in Kenya.
The AT2030 programme will test, over five years, “what works” to improve access to Assistive Technology and will invest £20m to support solutions to scale. With a focus on innovative products, new service models, and global capacity support, the programme will reach 9 million people directly and 6 million more indirectly to enable a lifetime of potential through life-changing Assistive Technology. AT2030 is led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub and is funded by UK aid from the UK Government.
Amref Enterprises Limited (AEL) is the social enterprise arm of Amref Health Africa, the largest Africa-based international NGO. AEL is responsible for delivering sustainable social value through incubation and commercialisation of innovative
solutions, conceptualised and developed throughout the organisation. AELs works to strengthen the primary health care system, in line with Amref Health Africa’s vision of creating lasting health change in Africa. More information at: https://amrefuk.org/
GDI Hub is a research and practice centre driving disability innovation for a fairer world. Based in East London and a legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, GDI Hub delivers world-class research, ideas and inventions, creating new knowledge, solutions and products, and shaping policy through co-creation, participation and collaboration.