BecA / Biotechnology / Burundi / Capacity Strengthening / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Kenya / Rwanda / Tanzania / Uganda

Biosciences hub for East African agricultural innovations launched

Bio-Innovate launch: Announcement poster

Poster announcing the official launch of the Bi-Innovate Program at ILRI (photo credit: ILRI).

SciDev.Dev this week reports on the official launch of a new biosciences hub operating in Nairobi, Kenya, and serving 6 countries in East Africa.

‘A hub to connect and fund East African agricultural researchers, and assist them in reaching out to the private sector, may yield products to aid the region’s development.

‘The Bioresources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) was officially launched in Nairobi last month (16 March) with a US$16.5 million, five-year grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). It will be managed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and hosted at its Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa centre.

‘Seyoum Leta, programme manager of Bio-Innovate, said the initiative is expected to fill a long-standing “missing link” between research and market products, and inspire East African bioscientists to generate research that will accelerate the region’s development towards a future that is food-secure and resilient to climate change.

‘”Bio-Innovate is unique in the sense that it … [involves] a broad mix of disciplines and actors such as scientists, policymakers, market actors and the private sector at all stages of the innovation process,” he told SciDev.Net.

‘He added that the network is the first innovation and policy platform for the region “to effectively respond to the common agricultural and environmental problems and priorities” and a rare attempt to link agricultural and environmental research with policymaking on climate change adaptation.

‘Björn Häggmark, deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi, Kenya, called the launch “very timely”.

‘He said that “investments in the bio-resources sector address critical development challenges such as food security and climate change, against a backdrop of constantly rising prices and an increasingly harsh climate in large parts of Africa”.

‘He added: “Increased regional integration within research is a prerequisite for economic growth and sustainable development, to address trans-boundary issues of importance for poverty alleviation through innovation systems. Regional co-operation takes quality assessment to a higher level and reduces costs for individual countries as resources are shared.”. . .’

Read the whole article at SciDev.Net: East African network to boost bioscience innovations, 6 April 2011.

Read the news release about the launch of Bio-Innovate.

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