Congratulations to the winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy!
The Milken-Motsepe Prize in FinTech is now open for registration!
Milken-Motsepe Green Energy Prize

Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy Finalists Announced

Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy Finalists Announced 

Five teams to share $350,000 in funding to continue developing and testing innovative off-grid green energy technologies 

Los Angeles and Johannesburg (2 November, 2023) – The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation today announced the five teams advancing to the Finalist Round of the Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy. Each finalist team will receive $70,000 to further develop and test their designs in a live field test demonstration 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 – Geosleeve” Team for its thermoelectric geothermal power generation from low temperature geothermal;
  • Newdigit 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. 

“Access to electricity can advance industrialization across Africa and improve the standards of living for many marginalized communities,” said Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, co-founder and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation. “These finalists are building innovative solutions to deliver on the promise of a sustainable future, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. We will be delighted to welcome them to South Africa for the live demonstrations next year.” 

An independent panel of expert judges determined the five teams continuing to the Finalist Round based on a rigorous evaluation of real-world data.  

Judges will continue to evaluate competing teams’ abilities to meet the challenge of generating 60kWh of electricity in a 24-hour period by: 

  • demonstrating off-grid electricity generation using green energy sources;
  • validating demonstration results with data collection; and
  • providing affordable and reliable electricity to energy-poor communities, as informed by the demonstration. 

“These finalists have once again proven the value of the innovation competition model in driving breakthroughs,” said Emily Musil Church, PhD, senior director at the Milken Institute. “The Semifinalist Round pushed these teams to stretch their limits and build solutions that are scalable and life-changing for millions.” 

To date, the competition has awarded US$750,000 to entrepreneurs testing bold ideas to expand access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity in Africa.  

In May 2024, the judges will award a US$1 million Grand Prize. A runner-up prize of US$250,000 will also be awarded. In total, the Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy will award over US$2 million in prizes and additional benefits. 

About the Milken Institute 

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life. With a focus on financial, physical, mental, and environmental health, we bring together the best ideas and innovative resourcing to develop blueprints for tackling some of our most critical global issues through the lens of what’s pressing now and what’s coming next. For more information, visit www.milkeninstitute.org 

About the Motsepe Foundation: 

The Motsepe Foundation was founded in 1999 by Dr. Patrice Motsepe and his wife, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. The goal of the Motsepe Foundation is to contribute towards eradicating poverty and to sustainably improve the living conditions and standards 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, which was started by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates. Dr. Patrice Motsepe and his wife committed to give half of their wealth to the poor and for philanthropic purposes during their lifetime and beyond. 

More News

News clips

Engineering News: Award-winning Omnivat to roll out pilots of containerised electricity generation and storage system

Renewable energy technology company Omnivat Tech, the creator of an award-winning containerised electricity generation and storage system, aims to deploy three in-field pilot plants in the coming months. The company intends to trial different use cases, including health facility support, backup power and community-owned models. “We are a pan-African team with a pan-African vision. We will deploy our initial systems in South Africa and will be developing a pipeline across sub-Saharan Africa. We are open to public- and private-sector customers and intend to collaborate with both to meet the needs of communities, facilities and businesses,” says Omnivat.   Read the full article here

Read More »
News clips

The Kenya Times: Two African Entrepreneurs Win Ksh261 million Green Energy Global Award

The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation announced the winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy at the global conference held by the institute in Los Angeles. The $2 million (Ksh 261,500,000) innovation competition seeks to recognize entrepreneurs striving to enhance access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable offgrid electricity in Africa. One of the winners is Aftrak, an initiative based in both the United Kingdom (UK) and Malawi. Aftrak received a Grand Prize of $1 million for its solar microgrid which is easily assembled, and custom-designed tractors.   Read the full article here.

Read More »
News clips

Best Mag: Solar and battery powered tractor for Africa gets award

Aftrak, an initiative based out of the UK and Tiyeni of Malawi, a Malawian non-government organisation has won the Milken-Motsepe prize for green energy. Modern farming is energy consuming as most machines are powered with fossil fuels. However, the last decade has seen a strong trend towards a more sustainable agricultural infrastructure. The outcome is an easy-assembled revolutionary solar and lead-battery-powered tractor, supporting sustainable farming in Africa that has won a major international environmental prize, the Milken-Motsepe prize for green energy. The project has been co-founded by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) and the global lead battery manufacturer Clarios, based in Wisconsin, and owner of battery brands like Varta and Optima. The team is led by Loughborough University in the UK.   Read the full article here.

Read More »