Milken Institute and Motsepe Basis Launch Know-how Prize Program to Propel Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa


LOS ANGELES & JOHANNESBURG – (BUSINESS WIRE) – The Milken Institute and Motsepe Foundation today launched the Milken Motsepe Innovation Awards program, a multi-year initiative designed to focus global innovators and entrepreneurs on developing technological solutions that advance the achievement of United’s goals Accelerate Nations for Sustainable Development (SDGs). with a view of the African continent. This program includes several technology award competitions in the fields of agriculture, energy, education and health.

“Fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies can solve complex socio-economic and human problems. In the hands of entrepreneurs, these technologies can turn Africa into a global economic engine and change the world, ”said Dr. Patrice Motsepe, founder and chairman of the Motsepe Foundation. “Precious and I are delighted to be working with Mike Milken and the Milken Institute to launch this award that encourages African and global entrepreneurs to innovate and use 4IR technologies to address some of the most pressing challenges in Africa and the world to improve the living conditions and standard of living of people worldwide. ”

Registration for the first of these free prizes is now open. The Milken Motsepe Prize for AgriTech is a $ 2 million (US $) global competition for innovative solutions that add economic value to farmers, from seeds to sales.

“My good friends Patrice and Precious Motsepe have long been valued partners of the Milken Institute, particularly in solving global health problems,” said Mike Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute. “The leadership of the Motsepe Foundation has been very effective in Africa and has inspired people all over the world. I am very pleased that we will join forces again to promote long-term technological innovation and improve the human capital of farmers so that they can play a greater role in maintaining a more dynamic regional economy. ”

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Founder and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation, added, “This prize competition will leverage global business and technological potential, including among women and the growing youth population on the African continent and around the world. We are confident that the competition will attract a diverse group of entrants around the world who want to work with a wide network of resources to implement their innovative ideas. ”

The Milken Motsepe Prize for AgriTech was developed through rigorous and extensive consultation with more than 50 experts from various disciplines across science, industry and government to define the competition guidelines and assessment metrics. Field tests will take place in Africa and solutions should have the potential to be applied globally.

“Prize competitions encourage innovation, diversify the talent pool and inspire new voices from aspiring entrepreneurs to seasoned engineers,” said Dr. Emily Musil Church, Senior Director in the Milken Institute’s Center for Global Market Development. “We are excited to introduce this approach to advancing the SDGs that harness the power of technology to solve global challenges and create real systems of change.”

How to enter

The teams have until December 8, 2021 to register and submit drafts and business models. An independent jury of experts will select up to 25 teams, each receiving $ 10,000 to develop small prototypes over the next six months. In the final round, teams will demonstrate their contributions in field tests, which will be assessed based on their ability:

  • Increase the net economic value to the farmer

  • Increase productivity at harvest and / or reduce post-harvest loss

  • Cut costs for farmers

  • Provision of a viable and sustainable business model

  • To be implemented by small and medium-sized companies

  • Development or integration of innovative technologies

The jury will award a grand prize of $ 1 million, with additional cash awarded to second and third place winners, a prize for the most creative use of fourth industrial revolution technology, and a People’s Choice award.

Registration is free and in addition to the prize money, teams get access to networks, training and other resources. To register for the award or to learn more, visit

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a not-for-profit, impartial think-tank that helps people build meaningful lives where they can experience health and wellbeing, seek effective education and employment, and access the resources necessary to create greater opportunities for themselves and their employees to create wider communities. More information is available at

About the Motsepe Foundation

The Motsepe Foundation was founded in 1999 by Dr. Patrice Motsepe and his wife Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe founded. The aim of the Motsepe Foundation is to contribute to the eradication of poverty and to sustainably improve the living conditions and standard of living of poor, unemployed and marginalized people in South Africa, Africa and the world. In January 2013, Dr. Patrice Motsepe and Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe joined the Giving Pledge founded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The Motsepes are committed to giving half of their wealth to the poor and for philanthropic purposes throughout their lives and beyond.