Young entrepreneurs with locally applicable start ups which spur socio-economic transformation of the country were among the groups which benefited most from the award.
The ceremony was held on Thursday last week at Kigali Health Institute (KHI).
The eight winners were selected from 370 applicants of which two were from the ICT sector, three from agriculture and three from manufacturing, reported The New Times.
Remmy Twiringiyimana, acting director general of science, technology and research at the Ministry of Education, said: “Innovation, team delivery capacity, production, service, social benefit, business mode, market, data credibility were the criteria during the nine months selection period.”
Maryse Umugwaneza, a nutritionist and one of the winners, said: "I'm really thankful for RIEF for the recognition of the work I did. This money will help me in implementing the project and I'm sure it will help fight malnutrition among Rwandan children.”
Umugwaneza’s project involved the production of infant and young children fortified complementary foods using fermented sorghum to make it more digestible.
Twiringiyimana added the project aims at promoting ICT outside of Kigali with the idea of developing telecenters and a new model which will ensure a high speed connection.
"Your selection was based on merit. You should ensure your innovation is turned into successful business and processes to create employment not only for yourselves but also for the Rwandan youth," Vincent Biruta, the minister of education said.
Biruta added people needed to invest in ICT related businesses because it is the key driver to sustainable development.