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Functional bioscience innovation
systems as the pathway to a
sustainable bio-economy: experience
from Uganda
Julius Ecuru
...
Highlights
• Opportunities for promoting bioscience
innovations for sustainable dev’t are emerging in
Uganda and the regio...
Uganda’s dev’t goal
• Ugandan’s aspire to attain
middle income country
status as soon as possible.
(Vision 2040)
• This re...
• Private sector is to be the engine for growth;
• Science, tech & innovation the driving force.
Main efforts to promote private sector
dev’t
• Macro-economic stabilization
• Led to rapid GDP growth in the 90s & early 2...
Uganda’s competitive advantage
• Arguably the country’s
greatest asset:
– Biodiversity (including
agro-biodiversity)
– Hum...
• The key issue is how to
invest in, use and direct
science, tech & innovation
efforts towards a
sustainable future for th...
• One of the sustainable dev’t pathways could be
to build functional bioscience innovation
systems.
– Taking “innovation s...
Some examples
1. Fruit innovation system- a community initiative
• In 2005 a group of about 30 micro
and small scale (firm size 1-50
emp...
Fruit
Processing
Govern-
ance
Human
capital
Financing
Makerere Univ
UIRI
UEPB
Farmers
SNV
URSB
UNFF
MAAIF
Enterprise Ugand...
Key issues & challenges
• Learning by interacting & collaboration with university scientists
is central.
• Packaging extre...
2. Innovation system for crop improvement –
Tissue Culture
• Local scientists working
collaboratively with
Swedish
univers...
• Agree to work with
an entrepreneur who
sets up a
commercial tissue
culture lab for
bananas;
• Afterwards, also
venture o...
• Currently 4 small
companies, with
combined capacity for
slightly over a million
tissue culture banana
plantlets p.a.
• E...
Tissue
Culture
Govern-
ance
Human
capital
Financing
Makerere Univ
UIRI
Farmers
ASARECA
URSB
UNFF
MAAIF
Enterprise Uganda
N...
Key issues & challenges
• Studies to ascertain performance of in vitro plantlets
in field conditions; new protocols for mu...
Building functional bioscience innovation
systems can be one of the ways to a sustainable
bio-economy in Uganda and the re...
What can be done?
1. Set up/develop business incubators
– Private sector in Uganda is small and weak,
particularly in the ...
2. Have in place more enabling policies &
strategies
– Policies & strategies with clear goals and which
provide incentives...
3. Build local capabilities (human & technical
skills improvement)
– Utilize the latent potential in the universities---
m...
Conclusion
• Partners can work together to build functional
bioscience innovation systems as a pathway to
a bio-economy no...
Thank you
Functional bioscience innovation systems as the pathway to a sustainable bio-economy: Experience from Uganda.
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Functional bioscience innovation systems as the pathway to a sustainable bio-economy: Experience from Uganda.

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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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Transcript of "Functional bioscience innovation systems as the pathway to a sustainable bio-economy: Experience from Uganda."

  1. 1. Functional bioscience innovation systems as the pathway to a sustainable bio-economy: experience from Uganda Julius Ecuru At SIANI/SEI, Stockholm 27 September 2013
  2. 2. Highlights • Opportunities for promoting bioscience innovations for sustainable dev’t are emerging in Uganda and the region; • Action is needed to address policy and technical challenges; • Taking an innovations systems approach and building functional innovation systems can be one way to overcome the challenges.
  3. 3. Uganda’s dev’t goal • Ugandan’s aspire to attain middle income country status as soon as possible. (Vision 2040) • This requires GDP growth of > 7% p.a. – A growing population projected to reach 90 million people in 2050! – A growing middle class & rapidly urbanizing communities
  4. 4. • Private sector is to be the engine for growth; • Science, tech & innovation the driving force.
  5. 5. Main efforts to promote private sector dev’t • Macro-economic stabilization • Led to rapid GDP growth in the 90s & early 2000s, peaking 12% in late 90s; but has stagnated at about 5% p.a. in last decade. • Reducing cost of doing business • Regulatory reforms; • Infrastructure dev’t, e.g. roads, electricity, water, communication. – However, while the interventions have led to gains in short term, increased growth & improvements in living standards in the long term requires innovation.
  6. 6. Uganda’s competitive advantage • Arguably the country’s greatest asset: – Biodiversity (including agro-biodiversity) – Human resources • Thus, investing in science, tech & innovation is absolutely essential for Uganda’s future growth;
  7. 7. • The key issue is how to invest in, use and direct science, tech & innovation efforts towards a sustainable future for the country and region. – E.g. • Adding value to genetic resources; • Building human capital--- skills & innovation capabilities in the biosciences;
  8. 8. • One of the sustainable dev’t pathways could be to build functional bioscience innovation systems. – Taking “innovation system” both conceptually and also in reality. • i.e. the networks and interactions among diverse actors in the production, use and diffusion of knowledge. Lundvall, Edquist, et al.
  9. 9. Some examples
  10. 10. 1. Fruit innovation system- a community initiative • In 2005 a group of about 30 micro and small scale (firm size 1-50 employees), but most cottages, with help of university, established themselves as an innovative business cluster for fruit processing. – Fruit e.g. mango, pineapple, papaya, jack fruit, oranges, tomato, pumpkin, passion fruit – Innovations in blending & herbal preservatives • Their motivation was to add value to local fruits in order to create jobs for the youth & diversify household incomes.
  11. 11. Fruit Processing Govern- ance Human capital Financing Makerere Univ UIRI UEPB Farmers SNV URSB UNFF MAAIF Enterprise Uganda Processors/ LFPC Kyambogo Univ Acronyms URSB-Uganda Registration Services Bureau UNFF-Uganda National Farmers’ Federation UNBS-Uganda National Bureau of Standards NAADS-National Agricultural Advisory Services Pres’ Office-President’s Office MAAIF-Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries UEPB-Uganda Exports Promotion Board NOGAMU-National Organic Manufacturers in Uganda NARL-National Agricultural Research Laboratories UMA-Uganda Manufacturers’ Association SNV-SNV Netherlands Development Organization LFPC-Luwero Fruit Processing Cluster UIRI-Uganda Industrial Research Institute PSF-Private Sector Foundation MFPED-Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development LDFA-Luwero District Farmers’ Association UDC-Uganda Development Cooperation MTIC-Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Irish Aid Local Gov’t NARL NOGAMU NAADS UNBS Larger Scale Fruit Processors PSF UMA Pres’ Office Raw Material Suppliers MFPED LDFA UDC MTIC dr dr dr dr dr dr drdr sr sr sr sr sr sr sr sr Ecuru et al 2012
  12. 12. Key issues & challenges • Learning by interacting & collaboration with university scientists is central. • Packaging extremely expensive > 50% of cost of production • New entrants (firms) increasing, but few survive; • Broad policy recognition of fruit processing in agric dev’t plan; but no specific goals & incentives to drive ambition and creation of markets; • No quality marks, no trade marks; • No easy access to credit, red tape; high interest rates typically >10% p.a.
  13. 13. 2. Innovation system for crop improvement – Tissue Culture • Local scientists working collaboratively with Swedish universities, develop technologies for producing clean planting material: – Disease elimination/virus indexing – Protocols for micro- propagation (tissue culture) of disease free & high yielding crop varieties.
  14. 14. • Agree to work with an entrepreneur who sets up a commercial tissue culture lab for bananas; • Afterwards, also venture on their own to establish commercial TC labs.
  15. 15. • Currently 4 small companies, with combined capacity for slightly over a million tissue culture banana plantlets p.a. • Estimated to meet less than 5% of current demand for banana plantlets; • 1 plantlet for 1 USD;
  16. 16. Tissue Culture Govern- ance Human capital Financing Makerere Univ UIRI Farmers ASARECA URSB UNFF MAAIF Enterprise Uganda Nursery Operators Kyambogo Univ Acronyms URSB-Uganda Registration Services Bureau UNFF-Uganda National Farmers’ Federation UNBS-Uganda National Bureau of Standards NAADS-National Agricultural Advisory Services UNCST-Uganda National Council for Science and Technology UCDA-Uganda Coffee Development Authority MAAIF-Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries NARL-National Agricultural Research Laboratories TCBN-Tissue Culture Business Network ASARECA-Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa UDB-Uganda Development Bank UIRI-Uganda Industrial Research Institute PSF-Private Sector Foundation MFPED-Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development URA-Uganda Revenue Authority UIA-Uganda Investment Authority MTIC-Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives UBBC-Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium MoES-Ministry of Education and Sports KAZARDI-Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute SciFode-Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development USAID-United States Agency for International Development USAID NARL SciFode NAADS UNBS Tissue Culture Firms PSF UNCST Inputs Suppliers MFPED TCBN UDB MTIC NACCRI KAZARDI Busitema Univ UIA URA UCDA Lab Equipment Suppliers MoES UBBC Ecuru et al 2012
  17. 17. Key issues & challenges • Studies to ascertain performance of in vitro plantlets in field conditions; new protocols for multiplication; understanding seed distributions systems; • New entrants, mostly university & PRO scientists; • Policy encourages production of clean seed to farmers; but specific goals, targets and incentives needed to attract investment in the area. • Systematic market analysis required;
  18. 18. Building functional bioscience innovation systems can be one of the ways to a sustainable bio-economy in Uganda and the region.
  19. 19. What can be done? 1. Set up/develop business incubators – Private sector in Uganda is small and weak, particularly in the biosciences. Therefore, universities & public research orgs should play an enhanced role in “growing” the private sector. Business incubation is one way to do so.
  20. 20. 2. Have in place more enabling policies & strategies – Policies & strategies with clear goals and which provide incentives to drive investment in both macro and micro systems of innovation---products and services; – Requires studies, & capacity strengthening for evidence based policy making.
  21. 21. 3. Build local capabilities (human & technical skills improvement) – Utilize the latent potential in the universities--- make this the hub for research and innovation to address local challenges of global importance.
  22. 22. Conclusion • Partners can work together to build functional bioscience innovation systems as a pathway to a bio-economy not only in Uganda but in all of eastern and most parts of Africa. • The public sector will continue to play a vital role in the process.
  23. 23. Thank you
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