BioInnovate Africa phase II launched

2 November 2017, Kigali, Rwanda – BioInnovate Africa Programme, one of Africa’s largest regional innovation-driven science initiative, officially marked entry into its second phase with three key highlights: increased funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); call for a new round of proposals from eastern Africa scientists and innovators, and enhanced steps towards the creation of a bioeconomy strategy for the region.

Currently operational in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, BioInnovate Africa provides grants to enable scientists, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs in eastern Africa work together to turn innovative ideas and technologies based on biological sciences into viable businesses. BioInnovate Africa’s first phase ran from 2010 – 2015.



“Sida has made the decision to increase funding to BioInnovate Africa phase two, to a total of 120.7 Million SEK (approximately USD 15 million), to accommodate a growing number of worthwhile innovations,” said Dr Claes Kjellstrom, Senior Policy Specialist, Sida's Department for Africa.

Julius Ecuru, Bioinnovate Africa programme manager, added, “Between 2 November 2017 and 2 February 2018, scientists, researchers, innovators or entrepreneurs resident in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda can apply for grants from a US$ 3.5 million kitty, for projects to be implemented over three years (2018–2020).” Complete details are available at http://bioinnovate-africa.org

Bioinnovate Africa’s efforts towards the development of a bioeconomy strategy for eastern Africa commenced with a high-level forum convened in partnership with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), Rwanda, held in Kigali, on 2 and 3 November 2017.  A bioeconomy brings together the commercial activity surrounding the use of renewable biological resources – such as crops, forests, animals and micro-organisms (like bacteria) – to solve challenges related to food, health, environmental protection, energy and industrial processes.

Notes for Editors

BioInnovate Africa (the Bioresources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development) Programme is a regional initiative supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to assist countries in eastern Africa benefit from the revolutionary advances in biosciences, converting these technologies into innovations for inclusive growth and sustainable development. BioInnovate is based at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya, and currently operates in six eastern African countries namely: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. BioInnovate Africa evolved from BioEARN – a regional network of research excellence in biosciences founded in 1999. In Phase I (2010 – 2015), the Programme focused on building innovation consortia/platforms on crop improvement technologies, value added products from millet and sorghum, sustainable utilisation of agro industrial waste and bioscience innovation policies. In Phase II (2016 – 2021), BioInnovate Africa will build on these efforts, with more emphasis on linking biobased ideas and technologies to business by developing and piloting economically viable biobased technologies and products; and engaging policymakers to evaluate relevant policy options that support bioscience innovations.

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (www.icipe.org), is a world-class research centre whose mission is to contribute towards poverty reduction, food security, better health and environmental protection across the developing world, by enhancing the capacity of researchers and communities to produce and utilise insect sciences. icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with a country office in Ethiopia and several field stations in Kenya. The Centre currently has operations in 30 African countries, and thriving partnerships with universities and research organisations across the world.

Contacts

For further information, contact: BioInnovate Programme Management Office,

Email: bioinnovate@icipe.org, Tel: 254 (20) 863 2433