New African forensic genotyping kit will help bring down sexual predators

Forensic cover

A BioFISA II grant has helped Inqaba Biotec and the University of the Western Cape achieve their goal of creating a better, cheaper forensic kit custom-built for African genetic diversity. Project manager, Mischa Francesca Fraser talks about the need for such a product for Africa and how it will help police solve sexual assault cases in southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

SANBio Summer School teaches the business of clinical research in Africa

SANBio Summer School participants

Can clinical research have a business dimension? SANBio’s most recent Summer School, held on 25-26 February 2018 in Pretoria, brought together 28 students from 10 SADC countries to learn about the business of clinical research from researcher, clinicians and entrepreneurs from around Africa.  The course participants relate their experience below.

Entrepreneurs and scientists join forces to talk innovation at SANBio Annual Event 2018

SANBio Annual Event 2018
African entrepreneurs showed off their products, scientists boasted novel solutions to the continent’s great problems, and venture capitalists prowled the venue looking for their next multi-million rand investment. NEPAD SANBio’s recent Annual Event bore the fruits of the Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme BioFISA II, which is helping NEPAD SANBio in building a network for innovation in life sciences throughout southern Africa.

Healthy and climate-smart sorghum biscuits set to flood the market

Sorghum
Three young female entrepreneurs have started an innovative baked goods business under the incubation hub of the National University of Lesotho (NUL). The three are poised to take on the sweet business of biscuits and other baked goods using sorghum, with funding from NEPAD SANBio’s BioFISA II Programme to help them fulfill their ambitions of one day exporting their tasty treats.

African biotech initiative promises relief from ARV side effects

Genetic puzzle
A multinational NEPAD SANBio project called GeneDose is using genetic tests to fight the harmful side effects of antiretrovirals. Now starting clinical trials in Zimbabwe, GeneDose will improve patients’ quality of life and make personalised medicine a reality in Africa.

SANBio at Science Forum South Africa 2017: Youth Involvement, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

SANBio at Science Forum South Africa 2017

Last week NEPAD SANBio participated in the Science Forum South Africa 2017 (SFSA 2017). The SFSA is regarded as Africa’s largest “open science” event, aimed at stimulating debate on the role of science in society. The programme consisted of plenary panel debates, short seminars and talks, with the participation of local and international thought leaders from the scientific community as well as an exhibition.

NEPAD SANBio Participation at the Global Research Africa and Science Granting Research Initiative Annual Forum, 22-24 November 2017 in Livingstone, Zambia

The theme of this year’s Forum was Effective Public-Private Partnerships in Research and Innovation. The purpose of the Global Research Africa and Science Granting Research Initiative Annual Forum was for stakeholders to discuss the cutting-edge issues related to science, technology and innovation within the framework of public-private-partnerships (PPP); and the role the private sector companies in Africa could play in supporting the African agenda on science, technology and innovation for socioeconomic benefit.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning – Key to project success

MEL participants

The SANBio/BioFISA II project portfolio currently consists of 15 collaborative projects in health and nutrition. The network brought in external experts for a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) visit in Cape Town on 23-27 October 2017 to monitor and evaluate the technical and business development progress of the projects.  In addition to discussions and presentations related to the projects, the MEL programme included visits and facility tours to the University of Cape Town and LifeAssay Diagnostics.

 

Joint NISTI and NEPAD SANBio Training Workshop on Innovation Strategies held in Seychelles 7-11 August 2017

Workshop participants and representatives

The NEPAD Science Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH), NEPAD SANBio (Southern Africa Network for Biosciences), National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (NISTI) in the Republic of Seychelles in collaboration with the other key national stakeholders, African Union Commission, Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics and the University of Seychelles held a training workshop on strategies of creating an enabling environment for a knowledge-based economy led by innovation in Beau Vallon, Seychelles, from 7 to 11 August 2017.