US$ 5 Million Funding Kitty for eastern African science innovators announced

A three-year grant fund totalling US$ 5 million has been announced, 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.

The kitty is being managed by the Bioresources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (BioInnovate Africa) Programme, a regional initiative currently operational in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

BioInnovate Africa“We are inviting concept notes from teams resident in the six eastern African countries mentioned above, under two thematic areas. The first theme is for innovations focused on adding value to agricultural produce and related raw plant and animal materials. Ideas and technologies in this category could be aimed at improving food, beverages and livestock feed, or towards creating environmentally friendly industrial chemicals, biofuels or tools to diagnose diseases, excluding drug trials,” said Dr Julius Ecuru, Programme Manager, BioInnovate Africa.

He added: “The second theme encompasses innovations that have the potential to convert biological waste and crop or plant residues from agricultural processes, as a way of mitigating climate change and supporting environmental sustainability. Such solutions could include creating useful, renewable products or services from solid waste and wastewater, or technologies for wastewater treatment and reuse.”

Teams wishing to apply for the grants should be formally affiliated with universities, public research organisations or private firms (including legally registered smallholder farmer based or community organisations or groups). Applicants must demonstrate a strong and realistic practical linkage between their biological based research idea or technology to business. They should also articulate what they see as the potential of the idea or technology and how or whether smallholder farming communities and agricultural and biological processing firms in eastern Africa are likely to benefit.

 “By creating a connection that will help to translate biological science research outputs into goods and services for the benefit of society, BioInnovate Africa aims to contribute towards expanding opportunities for job creation, increased household incomes and poverty reduction in an environmentally sustainable way,” noted icipe Director General, Dr Segenet Kelemu.

How to Apply

Teams interested to apply should obtain the detailed call guidelines and follow the online application process (in English) at: and or apply directly at:

The deadline for submission of concept notes is Friday 2 June 2017, no later than 23:59 hours.

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 (, 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.


For further information, contact:

BioInnovate Programme Management Office,

Email:, Tel: 254 (20) 863 2433