HealthTech Hub Africa (HTHA) Innovation Challenge 2023: #Play4Health

Deadline: April 25th, 23:59:59pm CET.

HealthTech Hub Africa (HTHA) Innovation Challenge 2023: #Play4Health

The Novartis Foundation through the HealthTech Hub Africa (HTHA), a hybrid pan-African health tech accelerator, launches the #Play4Health call for applications.  

The challenge aims to identify one or two innovative health tech solutions to receive a fast-tracking grant(-s) to increase healthy living options for school children in Africa, and as a result – have a long-term positive impact on their cardiovascular health.

A study conducted by the University of Basel, the University of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the Novartis Foundation found that 40% of school children in the disadvantaged communities in and around Port Elizabeth, South Africa, did not meet international physical activity recommendations and 30% of them classified as hypertensive.

The purpose of this Challenge is to highlight the main requirements and design principles for HealthTech (HT) innovations to address the priority gaps in the cardiovascular (CV) population health for school children, with the goal to accelerate or scale up two selected solutions (-s) in one or more countries in Africa, and make recommendations for a larger scale up plan upon completion of a successful fast-tracking project. Solutions building on the findings of the KaziBantu initiative are encouraged.

This grant opportunity is the result of collaboration between the HealthTech Hub Africa and the 2023 Africa Digital Health Summit.

Grant Award

One or two applicants will receive:

  1. One scale up grant of up to U$250.000 or two acceleration grants of up to $125.000
  2. Invitation to participate and present during the 2023 Africa Digital Health Summit on June 22-23th in Lagos, Nigeria, where the Grant recipient(-s) will be announced.
  3. Access to the expansive networks of BETTEReHEALTH, DHIS2, and HISP, and have the opportunity to showcase your solution to a broader audience through a collaborative webinar with BETTEReHEALTH.
  4. Free participation in DHIS2 Academy and/or any of the DHIS2 Academies.
  5. Masterclass on successful schoolchildren interventions with proven impact on health.
  6. Access to a network of government champions and mentors.
  7. Pro bono resources and technical support from members of the public-private partner network of the HealthTech Hub Africa.
  8. HealthTech Hub Africa project completion certificate.
  9. Opportunity to present their project results during the HTHA Summits in Kigali, Rwanda and/or Dakar, Senegal in 2023/2024.

Who Can Apply?

  • HTHA Cohort members and alumni

Startups and scale ups from the HTHA 2022 and 2023 cohorts are welcome to submit proposals with their fit-to-purpose solutions corresponding to the challenge brief. Their solutions can be supplemented by other best practices and available assets on CV population health.

Exception: startups and scaleups who have already received a HTHA grant award for a project which is not going to be finalized prior July 1st 2023, are not eligible to apply.

  • Other startups, scaleups and complementary organizations

Local and international organizations which are not part of the HealthTech Hub Africa official partner network or startup cohorts can apply in joint venture proposals led by the HTHA Cohort startups and scaleups.

We strongly encourage African startups and scale-ups which are not yet part of the HTHA program to collaborate with alumni or current cohort companies to strengthen their existing solutions by combining them for a larger impact and qualify for the challenge.


1.     HealthTech Innovation Solution Assessment Form

2.     Project Proposal: max 4 A4 pages (one pdf only containing the below items)

  • Description of the digital solution and its impact (indicators and targets)
  • Implementation plan
  • Description of the technology
  • Sustainability plan and knowledge transfer
  • Profiles of team members
  • Similar experiences in the field
  • Budget and payment plan

3.     Applicant organization’s intro deck (max 10 slides, one pdf only)

4.     The budget overview in Excel

 5.     Annex: (one pdf only containing the below items)

–  Core project team resumes.

–   References and/or letters of intent from public health stakeholders and other partners

–   A theory of change – that describes the logical sequence of activities expected to lead to the desired impact. (A graph, accompanied by no more than 1000 words)

For more information, please click here