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.
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.
Globally, the pace of progress in innovations and technology is rapidly escalating. While innovations come from many sources and at a variety of levels, advances in technology are increasingly the main driver of new, disruptive innovations.
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.
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.
On 31 July – 3 August 2017, NEPAD SANBio (Southern Africa Network for Biosciences), with the support of the BioFISA II Programme (a Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme to Strengthen NEPAD SANBio), and the Botswana Innovation Hub held the SANBio Winter School on Indigenous Knowledge Systems Commercialisation in Gaborone, Botswana.
The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, in partnership with the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) and with support from the BioFISA II Programme, is hosting a training course on Plant Genetic Resources Management in Lusaka, Zambia, from 7-12 August 2017.
Nhlanhla is a recent graduate from the University of Swaziland with an MSc in Agricultural Sciences. At the age of 25, she is full of life and has many dreams for herself and her five siblings, many of them either unemployed or underemployed. Nhlanhla dreams of a future where she would be able to not only afford food, water, shelter and energy, but be able to even go on a holiday in Durban.
I am extremely overjoyed to be selected as the SANBio Student Ambassador for Swaziland. I am greatly honoured and privileged to be afforded such a massive opportunity to represent my country within the SANBio network and to advocate SANBio among young people as well as fellow men and women in Swaziland and the SADC region.
SARIMA provides a platform for the promotion and facilitation of best practice in research and innovation management in Southern Africa and its purpose is to strengthen the research and innovation system to ensure the social and economic development of the Southern African region.