The University of Rwanda in partnership with the African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACE-ESD), have awarded the most prominent innovations that were showcased during the Innovation Week. The awarding ceremony concluded the UR Innovation Week that started on January 31. The grand prize of Rwf10 million was scooped by Gorilla Cooking Stove, a cooking stove that produces a blue flame from recycled waste and helps reduce the emission of harmful gases that are discharged into the air. Speaking to The New Times, Noella Umuhoza, Product Manager of Gorilla Cooking Stove, expressed her joy upon winning the award, saying it is a starting point in the journey of working for her country. “I started my project targeting low-income households who cannot afford cooking gas, and end up using materials to cook that are harmful to the environment and their health,” “With this prize I hope to take my project further and impact more communities, especially in rural areas so they can be able to use safe, clean energy while cooking and at an affordable price” she said. Indintambwe Feeds, a company that produces affordable poultry feeds that are made from dried maggots came in second place. The company’s CEO, Jean Bosco Nshutiyimana took home Rwf 8 million, for his initiative. “Currently we are only producing poultry feeds due to financial constraints, but with this prize we hope to do more, expand our business to feed more animals like pigs and fish while attracting more investors to expand more,” he said. Nshutiyimana encouraged other young people to work hard towards their goals and always seize opportunities that come their way. PV-GRID Power System, a control panel that allows the user to alternate between solar energy and grid electricity came in third place. Jean Marie Julien Dushimimana the founder of the system was awarded Rwf 5 million. Shared Meter, a device that is connected to a building’s main meter but allows each and every individual to buy and consume their own power, came in fourth place. And Get It Fast, a web-based platform that allows people to post their lost items, and if found it connects the person who found it to the owner, took the fifth position. Both companies won Rwf 1 million each. Officiating the awarding ceremony, Innocent Muhizi, the CEO of Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), hailed the efforts of all the innovators, adding that their innovations will go a long way to solve some of the problems in society while elevating communities. “Seeing young people like this innovating solutions for their communities and society gives hope as a country that creates our own solutions, furthermore we commend the universities that are helping these young people develop their potential ideas into concrete solutions” he added. Alexandre Lyambabaje, the University of Rwanda’s Vice Chancellor said: “We have incubated them, mentored them, and from here they are ready to take their products to the next level where they will be able to help and change more communities.” “We will do more so we can connect them with more investors, so their projects can be stronger and not fail” he added.