UniBRAIN AIICs perspective to incubating overseas ventures-I


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The world is flat. In this era of globalization, countries are forging partnerships to remain competitive in terms of trade, revenue, inputs and security. The same is needed for sustaining agriculture also. We look at how such partnerships can be leveraged for promoting Indian agribusiness ventures to new horizons and domains through trade opportunities at Africa, EU etc.

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UniBRAIN AIICs perspective to incubating overseas ventures-I

  1. 1. UniBRAIN AIICs Perspective to incubating Overseas Ventures Isaiah O. Ndiege Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda & George B. BaziraakeAfri Banana Products Ltd, Kampala, Uganda
  2. 2. Definitions• UniBRAIN – Universities in Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation• FARA – Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa• PanAAC – Pan-African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium• ANAFE – The African Network for Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resources Education• ABI-ICRISAT – Agri-Business Incubator Initiative of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics• SROs – Sub-Regional Organizations• DANIDA – Danish International Development Agency
  3. 3. Background• Universities generate & disseminate knowledge, invent & create innovative ideas, discover & nurture talents, develop skills and change attitudes• These are critical ingredients for socio- economic transformation and performance at individual, institutional and national level• Socio-economic development based on technology and skills improvement may only be achieved when strong links exist between university, research and business
  4. 4. Background (cont.)• Such links require drastic changes in operational policies and attitude in universities to facilitate: (i) Engagement of private enterprises (SMEs, local firms) (ii) Linking across agricultural value chains, locally, nationally and regionally (iii) Training of entreprenuers to tap the underexploited agricultural potential for economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction (iv) Encourage youth and women to take up careers in agriculture and agribusiness
  5. 5. University-Industry Link in Africa• African universities are not geared to industrial needs, wants or demands• No relationship between private sector demand and curricula in African universities• Graduates often remain unemployed• Graduates can create more jobs than non- graduates• Many SMEs lack staff with requisite knowledge, skills, talents & attitudes for innovation
  6. 6. University-Industry Link in Africa (cont.)• The deficiencies may be exploited in the dormant agricultural sector• The potential of African universities to catalyze socio-economic and technological development through industrialization should be exploited• UniBRAIN was therefore formed to bridge the gap between universities, research and business through the use of innovations for socio- economic transformation of Africa
  8. 8. AIIC Approach• Formation of Agribusiness Innovation Incubator Consortia (AIIC)- Six (6) pilot AIICs formed across Africa- Incubators are independent registered businesses- Relationship with universities is based on MoUs- Careful selection of incubatees based on a combination of ambition, determination and technical competence- Professional mentors- Professional managers delinked from universities
  9. 9. Incubation & Diversification Banana Products for Agri-business Development (UniBRAIN-IDBPA)• Focuses on small holder staple food and cash crop: banana• Holding Company: AFRI BANANA PRODUCTS LTD• Registered limited liability company with 7 directors/incubatees• Based at the UniBRAIN incubator at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda• Supported by the Department of Food Processing Technology• MoU signed with Kyambogo University – 4 years• Eight (8%) of the capital will be used in the development of a Business Incubator (pilot plant) in the department• Supports the Department of Food Processing Technology
  10. 10. Activities• Production of disease-free planting materials (tissue culture)• Extension of shelf life of cooking banana• Production of wine from banana• Extraction of banana fiber• Development of textiles from banana fiber• Production of packaging paper from banana fiber• Production of other handicrafts from banana fiber• Production of methane gas from banana peels• Production of vinegar from banana• Production of animal feed from banana peels• Production of charcoal briquets from banana peels