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Milken-Motsepe Prize Finalists in Green Energy Announced

The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have unveiled the five teams progressing to the Finalist Round of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy

The Milken-Motsepe Prize supports multi-year, multimillion-dollar innovation contests for tech solutions to speed up UN Sustainable Development Goals, mainly in Africa.

Every finalist team will receive $70,000 to refine and test their designs in a live field test in South Africa next year.

The finalist teams are:

  • AfTrak Micro Electric Agriculture and Energy, for its innovative system of using solar microgrids to power custom-designed tractors for deep-bed farming;
  • GEG ehf, for its solar- and geothermal-powered hybrid renewable energy system;
  • New Digit Technologies for its compact, portable device to generate energy and purify water;
  • OMNIVAT, for its containerized electricity generation and storage system for remote communities; and,
  • Smart Agri-Centres, for its solar-powered community hubs that provide affordable clean energy and services to farmers.
  • Speaking on the event, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, co-founder and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation stated,

“Access to electricity can advance industrialization across Africa and improve the standards of living for many marginalized communities,”

“These finalists are building innovative solutions to deliver on the promise of a sustainable future, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

She further stated that they look forward to their live demonstrations in South Africa next year.

Empowering Innovation for Sustainable Energy Solutions and Global Development

A panel of expert judges independently selected the five advancing teams after thorough evaluation of real-world data.

  • These judges will further assess each team’s capacity to meet the 60kWh electricity generation challenge over 24 hours by:
  • Showcasing off-grid electricity production from sustainable sources.
  • Confirming results through data collection.
  • Offering cost-effective and dependable power to underserved communities, guided by the demonstration.
  • Dr. Emily Musil Church, senior director at the Milken Institute, commended the finalists for demonstrating the competition’s value.

“These finalists have once again proven the value of the innovation competition model in driving breakthroughs.

“The Semifinalist Round pushed these teams to stretch their limits and build solutions that are scalable and life-changing for millions.”

So far, the competition has granted $750,000 to entrepreneurs testing ideas for affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity in Africa.

In May 2024, judges will grant a $1 million Grand Prize, with a $250,000 runner-up prize.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy will award over $2 million in prizes and additional benefits in total.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life.

They bring together top ideas and resources to create plans for addressing pressing current and future global issues.

The Motsepe Foundation is also aimed at eliminating poverty and enhancing living conditions for the disadvantaged in South Africa, Africa, and globally.