BioInnovate Africa Programme organised a Business Incubation Model Development Workshop from 26 – 28 February, 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The workshop was for the BioInnovate Africa Programme Category 2 business incubation project teams, to strengthen their capacity for professional business incubation as one of the routes to commercialize their innovative biological-based technologies and/or products. The project teams participated in developing a model BioInnovate Africa professional business incubation framework that will guide the business development process for their projects.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Julius Ecuru, BioInnovate Programme Manager emphasized the need for business incubation as one of the effective means to link innovative ideas and the market, saying, “The communities we serve expect new enterprises, and thriving businesses, out of the many innovative ideas and technologies developed every day in our universities, research institutes and firms. Business incubation gives entrepreneurial scientists and innovators an opportunity to build businesses from their ideas and technologies.”
Wilson Munene Karimi, Project Administrator at CoELIB, an incubator based at Egerton University in Kenya agrees that business incubation has a direct impact on youth employment and livelihood improvement, and is critical in entrepreneurship and business development. Munene says, “Throughout the business incubation process, we recognize that failure is important, because that is when gaps in the idea are realized, and refinement happens.”
BioInnovate Africa Programme is currently supporting business incubation for four projects working on various technological products including substrate blocks for mushroom cultivation, novel food products from sorghum and millet, Striga resistant maize and millet, and an integrated batch reactor and constructed wetland system for treating high strength waste water and collecting by-products. These projects include scientists and innovators from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, working collaboratively to create sustainable bio-based business opportunities.
About BioInnovate Africa Programme
Biolnnovate Africa’s mission is to enable scientists and innovators in universities, research institutes and firms in eastern Africa, to link innovative biological based research ideas and technologies to business and market opportunities, and for the scientists to develop local innovation systems that support the translation of research ideas to goods and services for beneficial societal use. The Programme is supported by Sida and is based at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe).
icipe, 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.