Bioscience innovation in Africa. A tool for development


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Presented as part of the "Moving Africa Towards a Knowledge Based Bio-economy" seminar on how agricultural innovation and in particular biosciences in areas such as breeding, agro-processing and value addition can contribute to economic growth and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Key questions of the seminar:

How the millions of resource-poor smallholder farmers, so vital for food production and economic growth, can benefit from the prospects of a new bio-economy?

How countries in Sub-Saharan Africa can develop programmes, institutional capabilities and bioscience innovation structures able to adapt and use technologies and know-how based on their own priorities and needs?

How can Sweden assist countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to move Towards a Knowledge Based Bio-economy?

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Bioscience innovation in Africa. A tool for development

  1. 1. Bioscience innovation in Africa. A tool for development. 27 September 2013 Ivar Virgin Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
  2. 2. MDGs and Poverty Reduction Strategies has been the focus but….. • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and National Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) have been dominating African development efforts. • The focus on MDGs/PRS is necessary, critical and logical. • However, foundation for long-term sustainable economic growth is also very important.
  3. 3. Fostering sustainable long-term economic growth in Africa ! •Increasing trade - domestic, regional and overseas export important! •Many African countries have not been able to effectively engage and use international trade as an engine of growth •Long-term economic prospects for many African countries tightly coupled to their ability to integrate in the global economy.
  4. 4. Innovation and value chains • The development of global value chains (food,feed, bioproducts) • Global competition between countries to attract investments, jobs and knowledge in the development of next generation of value chains.
  5. 5. •Growing demand for renewable bio-resource • The revolutionary advances in biosciences •New production regimes ...changing the conditions for the agricultural sector world wide.................not least for countries in Sub- Saharan Africa
  6. 6. Some key questions facing Policy makers...... • How can countries in SubSaharan Africa modernize its agriculture sector making it more productive and competetive? • What are the future African cash crops/biological systems, and how do develop value chains around these? • How to take part and use the revolutionary advances in biosciences? • What type of production systems, what infrastructure, what actors? • How to get there? What specific investments, capacities, policies and strategies are needed?
  7. 7. …? African countries to large extent agricultural economies…
  8. 8. Way forward ? • Countries in Africa using bio-resources as a strategic base for sustainable economic growth • The development of a modern “Bio-resource Economy” as an engine for economic growth employment and resource efficient bioresource utilisation
  9. 9. So what are the bioresouce demands... and the challenges!
  10. 10. The Bioresource demand boom! A demand for agricultural systems and land not producing food and feed but industrial products....
  11. 11. Climate change and resource scarcity How do we meet a rapid increase of bioresource demand in resource effective, climate smart and in a sustainable manner??
  12. 12. 2013-10-03 Lars Svensson/ Team Spannmål In Europe, crops yields been have been stable for the last tventy years...lots of emphasis on precision farming Lars S Svensson / Lantbruk
  13. 13. . Increased demand have to be met mainly by increased crop productivity!
  14. 14. Modern biosciences a key driver of the knowledge based bio-economy
  15. 15. Bioscience innovation can contribute to the development of sustainable bioeconomies .....and the development just begun….
  16. 16. Whats on the horizon? Soon (1-5 years), crops with Improved : • Nutrional composition (vitamines, proteins) • Disease resistance • Drough tolerance • More effecient nutrient uptake Further away (10-20 years) • Perennial crops. • A new generation of industrial crops . • More efficient phototosynthesis. ...More rescource efficient crops
  17. 17. Moving the chemical factory to the fields........ 2010 2030 ? An opportunity for Africa...?
  18. 18. Everthing you do with mineral oils youcan do with plant oils Its a matter of costs ! 1997 $17 USD $88 USD $100 USD $ 120 USD 2013
  19. 19. Biofuel and biofuels technologies increasingly important world wide...
  20. 20. Converting waste into useful products...modernizing the agroindustrial sector Huge potential for countries in Africa....
  21. 21. Value addition to local crops including, sorghum, cassava, millet... ...benefitting small scale farmers
  22. 22. Countries without competence to use modern Biosciences miss the opportunity to use this powerful technology to develop productive resource efficient sustainable crop production systems for food, feed and agroindustrial products
  23. 23. The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa Calestous Juma, Harvard University • …“biosciences can be for Africa what the IT revoltion has been for India…”. ....but in order to benefit from the wide-ranging advances in biosciences countries need to increase their ability to develop and adopt technologies and knowledge according totheir own priorities and needs!
  24. 24. Green revolution vs Gene revolution! Back then… • Green revolution driven by Public Institutions for local markets (subsidies, protected markets) Now… • Gene revolution driven by the private sector • The growing role of global, actors, trade and markets • Much stronger IP protection/IPR
  25. 25. Public sector is key ! • We have all these powerful technologies and know how. • Large commercial biotech/seed/technology suppliers show little interest in technologies/crops where they cannot protect their markets and proprietary rights. • Strong public research efforts will be essential for harnessing the benefits of modern biosciences to the needs of small-scale farmers/actors in developing countries.
  26. 26. Public R&D institutions must improve their ability to collaborate! Public R&D institutions engage in: • Regional and international collaboration, • public-private partnerships • multidisciplinary innovation platforms ..... key factors in ensuring that the new biosciences eventually benefit developing country farming systems.
  27. 27. The Sida supported BIO-EARN Programme 1998-2010 Building Bioscience Platforms in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania
  28. 28. The BioInnovate programme • One of the largest current efforts in Africa aimed at strengthening bioscience innovation in Eastern Africa • BioInnovate funds 8 bioscience innovation clusters including both public R&D institutions and private-sector partners • Bringing key bioscience technologies to the markets in the region. • Supports bioscience driven innovation on local crops in eastern Africa (cassava, sorghum , millet, beans and sweet potatoes). • Supports African agro-process industries to be more productive and sustainable converting agro-waste into valuable products such as bio-energy, food and feed products and at the same time reduce environmental impacts.
  29. 29. Biosciences Innovation Policy Consortium for eastern Africa (BIPCEA)
  30. 30. BIPCEA objectives • BIPCEA’s overall objective is to support the development of enabling policy environment assisting Bio-Innovate research project teams successfully bring their innovations to market. • Identify policy issues/challenges in bringing innovations to the market.
  31. 31. Four BioInnovate Technological Systems/Projects. • Crop improvement technologies for cassava, sweet potato and potato • Converting agro-industrial waste to bioenergy and value added products • Value added products from sorghum and millet • Industrial Enzymes for Sustainable Bio- Economy
  32. 32. Conceptual framework: Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) framework. Mapping the strengths and weaknesses of innovation systems • Actors. Are all actors in place? • Knowledge development and diffusion. Is there sufficient knowledge? • Entrepreneurial activity is there sufficient entrepreneurship by private and public sector actors in exploring market options for new products? • Guidance/Policies Is there a conducive policy and regulatory environment supporting innovation? • Markets What are the market drivers for the innovations/ new products? • Getting legitimacy Is there a public, political industry acceptance for the new technology? • Resource mobilisation Is there enough of financial, human and other resources? .
  33. 33. Summary Table Innovation cases Actors Knowledge development Entrepren- eurial activity Guidance/ Policies Market creation Getting legitimacy Resources Crop improvement technologies 3 3 2 2 2 3 2 Value added products from sorghum and millet 3 3 2 2 2 3 2 Converting agro- industrial waste to bioenergy and value added products 3 3 2 2 2 3 2 Industrial Enzymes for a sustainable Bioeconomy 2 2 1 1 1 3 2
  34. 34. • Gaps and Barriers Policy Responses Gaps and Barriers At Government level In the private sector and R&D system Entrepreneurial activities Inadequate entrepreneurship skills in the public sector Few small medium enterprises(SMEs) engaged in bioscience innovation. Limited public- private partnerships (PPP). Supporting business incubator services Support the development of platforms for public and private sector to meet and discuss opportunities for collaboration and technology transfer. Incentives for training of entrepreneurship at institutional level. Market skills and business opportunities arising from public R&D institutional technology transfer units Summary Inadequate entrepreneurship Support business incubation and Promote entrepreneurship
  35. 35. • Gaps and Barriers Policy Responses Gaps and Barriers At Government level In the private sector and R&D system Guidance/Policies Policies and regulations affecting innovation largely uncoordinated Few policies and targeted government actions lowering barriers or creating market incentives for bioscience innovation Standards and certification processes for innovation products lacking Functional mechanisms for a broader policy making process integrating, harmonizing and strengthening policies across sectors in support of innovation Improved government policies for innovation and targeted government actions to foster specific innovation areas Improve standards and certification processes for novel products. Lobbying for co- ordinated policies Lobbying for specific policies and targeted government actions , e.g. feed-in tariffs to sell electricity generated from biogas to national electricity grids Lobbying for improved standards and certification processes for novel products Summary Weak or stifling policies Improving processes Network and lobby!
  36. 36. • Gaps and Barriers Policy Responses Gaps and Barriers At Government level In the private sector and R&D system Market creation Market creation Market actors (e.g. farmers, SMEs, consumers) largely unaware of benefits with new innovations Government and innovation actors not sufficiently active in creating a market for innovations Proactive policy stimulating the market for bioscience innovation Promote innovation and support awareness of the potential benefits of bioscience innovations. Government procuring technology for key projects visualizing potential Improve marketing skills and activities in establishing an interest and demand for new innovations. Popularize successful innovations Lobbying for specific government procurement. Summary Market actors largely unaware of benefits with new innovations Promoting markets for bioscience innovation Improve marketing skills establishing an demand for new
  37. 37. • Gaps and Barriers Policy Responses Gaps and Barriers At Government level In the private sector and R&D system Resources Upscaling of technologies and pilot projects/”proof of concept” and business models essentially lacking. Credit facilities poor and interest rates unfavorable. Venture capital severely limited Government to increase support for and funding for innovation for pilot projects/”proof of concept” visualizing market potential . Government to actively mobilize support (from development banks, donors venture capitalists etc) for innovation. Public and private sector partners more actively exploring opportunities to share costs for pilot projects and /”proof of concept” visualizing market potential. Institutions to actively market examples of successful innovation and opportunities for profitable innovations able to generate economic growth to various funding agencies Summary Venture capital severely limited, Upscaling of Government to increase support for pilot Public and private sector partners
  38. 38. Public institutions able to engage in innovation and technology dissemination  Establishing a Foundation for Innovation and Linking public R&D with the Private sector.  technology transfer/dissemination capacities,  institutional IP policies and management capacities  ability to manage collaboration and networking opportunities including engaging in contractual agreements.  Rewarding & Supporting Entrepreneurship  Strengthen entrepreneurial skills at public R&D organizations,  Rules/policies/incentives for being innovative and entrepreneurial such as rewards, competitive salaries, career development opportunities, etc  Encourage the development of public R&D spin-off companies;
  39. 39. Creating More Efficient Links  Strengthening public–private partnerships – Supporting public and private actors to meet and discuss collaboration opportunities, technology transfer, adaptation and commercialization of public R&D.  Business incubation services – Business case development, viability analysis and strategy refinement – Market assessment and market access – Business model validation and market testing – Technology assessment (incl. IP assessment) – Business plan development (feasibility; strategies) – Assisting in finding financing sources for development and commercialization
  40. 40. Improve Policies and Governance Supporting Innovation Policies, regulations at national and regional level should be supportive Clear goals, sufficient incentives, and functional strategies
  41. 41. Funding R&D and Innovation • Government innovation funds. • The donor community can complement and strengthen government innovation funds. • Venture capital. • Attracting more philanthropic investments. • Providing incentives for local private sector investment in R&D.
  42. 42. . Long-term development goals and visions on how to benefit from the development of modern bioeconomies some 15-20 years ahead needed.....Where do you want to be?... ....and how to get there?
  43. 43. A small-scale farming system focus.....  Many agricultural development initiatives in Africa are now supporting value chain approaches.  How to ensure that scaled-up value chain benefit the rural population, especially women involved in primary production?  Smallholder agriculture is complex, often demanding knowledge-intensive practices and skills building  Building learning organizations and facilitating coalition building among different stakeholders
  44. 44. The Role for Sweden and the Swedish resource base?
  45. 45. Swedish private sector to collaborate with African counterparts! One example... ......AarhusKarlshamn(AAK) moving from processing crude plant oils for the Swedish market to specialized oils, fatty acids for a global market. .......AAK collaborating with emerging agroprocessing actors in Eastern Africa? .
  46. 46. Supporting innovation funds and providing venture capital Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation developing a innovation fund for global health. Swedish Sida contributes with roughly 20% of the starting capital! Could we see a similar fund for bioscience innovation on African bioresources/ag-value chains?
  47. 47. Interdisciplinary analysis and joint learning • Development of an Swedish/European/ SubSaharan fora on the prospect and the challenges in developing an African bioeconomy..... • Swedish actors could assist an “Africa driven” interdisciplinary analysis of the issues and the prospect and the challenges in developing an African bioeconomy... • Assist in developing a vision of an African Bioeconomy in 2030, with the goal of producing a joint position document that can be used by policy makers in Africa.
  48. 48. Thank you for listening!! For more information please contact