top of page

Calling innovators and entrepreneurs in Africa and Switzerland

MIRAHI - Making Innovation a Reality – African Health Initiative

MIRAHI is a new start-up acceleration program that supports the validation and scale-up of novel, equitable and sustainable solutions to systemic health challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). MIRAHIs goal is to support and strengthen local health systems through entrepreneurial solutions.

Starting from key challenges, co-defined in close collaboration with African health departments, MIRAHI engages and bridges the African and Swiss innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to validate and scale promising innovations. These innovations have the potential to positively impact health outcomes in local communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This partnership-driven initiative is run by the University of Basel Innovation Office, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and the wider Swiss innovation ecosystem, on behalf of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). MIRAHI partners with Swiss and African universities, innovation centers, incubators, governments, international organizations, as well as the private sector, and civil society organizations.

MIRAHI is an initiative of the STELLA Center of Excellence, a public-private platform co-founded by Novartis, which bridges research & translation in global health & access to medicine.

MIRAHI Challenge Number 1

Equitable, efficient and effective distribution of vaccines (including but not limited to COVID-19 vaccines) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Examples of key systems challenges include infrastructural and technological limitations to monitoring vaccines administered to patients; tracking vaccine delivery; monitoring the cold chain; energy generation and efficiency for vaccine storage, and other vaccine storage solutions; recording and registry of data in resource-constrained settings; and the effectiveness of information and behavior change campaigns.

We welcome innovations that cover a broad range of health systems challenges addressing the delivery, availability, and accessibility of medical commodities.

Why participate?

We support the winners with an individually-tailored program to validate and scale their solution by facilitating the interaction with governments, academic partners, international organizations as well as the private sector and civil society organizations.

Winners will also receive a significant cash prize (up to 20,000 CHF) which can contribute to the validation and scaling of the solution. To support further growth, winners will be invited to a work trip to meet key international and local health stakeholders in Switzerland (seat of the WHO). As an active member of the African entrepreneurship ecosystem, we support the winning companies to collaborate with an African incubator of their choice.

Winning the MIRAHI competition also results in significant exposure and publicity; and through our collaboration with investors and corporations, winners may even be able to raise critical funding to scale.


Are you involved with an innovative solution that could be applied to equitable, efficient, and effective distribution of vaccines (including but not limited to COVID-19 vaccines) in SubSaharan Africa? Please fill out the nomination form including a short pitch deck. Note you will have to have a google account to upload documents. If you have any questions and or issues with the form, please contact us at

The deadline for applications is June 4th, 2021 by the end of business CET time. (Extension from original deadline of May 21st)

MIRAHI COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge
Download • 256KB


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page