Yusuf Bilesanmi, a Nigerian innovator, was named the first recipient of the Africa Prize’s One-to-Watch Award during the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation final event earlier this month.
The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation, and has a proven track record of identifying successful engineering entrepreneurs.
Bilesanmi beat 11 other innovators from the 2021 shortlist who pitched their innovations to a live audience.
His innovation, ShiVent, a low-cost, non-electric and non-invasive ventilator for patients with respiratory difficulties, was voted as one that showed promise and potential for impact. The award comes with a £5,000 prize.
“ShiVent does not require electricity, is easy to install, non-invasive and oxygen efficient, and our belief is that it can help save lives when more expensive or oxygen-intensive technologies can’t get to patients,” he said.
According to Bilesanmi, the low-cost and easily replicable ventilators that don’t depend on electricity have been tested by the National Centre for Sports and Exercise and Medicine at the Loughborough University and Leicester Royal infirmary Hospital and meets the CPAP requirements set by the Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency in the UK.
Bilesanmi, an alumnus of the Lagos State University where he studied Law, is the founder of Shifa Technologies Limited.
He holds a BSc in Information and Communications Technology and an MSc in Information Systems (Smart Grid) from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Oita, Japan) and Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) respectively, and currently a PhD Researcher at Loughborough University.