22-25 May 2017. Windhoek, Namibia. Annual conference of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA). The Conference was hosted to allow the opportunity to network with colleagues in the fields of Research Management (RM) and Innovation and Technology Transfer (ITT) and to share our experiences.

SARIMA is a membership organization of Research and Innovation Managers that operates at an institutional, national and international level, as well as across the value chain, from research through to successful innovation commercialization). The organization 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.

22 May 2017. 8:30 – 12:30  The Role of Private Sector Institutions, Non-Governmental & Philanthropic Organizations in Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (DST)

The purpose of this workshop was to provide a platform for the private and public sector, as well as the research community and philanthropic actors to engage in an open discussion towards the implementation of the R&I Roadmap on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). 
  • The Roadmap identifies short, medium and long term actions aimed at addressing gaps in food security and sustainable agriculture with the purpose of addressing the developmental challenges common to both continents. 
  • In particular, the Roadmap identifies four key priorities that aim to influence the research agenda, the nature of collaboration and the types of research to be funded. These priorities are: (i) Sustainable intensification in agriculture; (ii) Agricultural and food systems for nutrition; (iii) Development and improvement of agricultural markets and trade; and (iv) Cross-cutting issues such as adding value to what already exists, facilitating the innovation process, strengthening R&I capacities etc. 
  • It is envisaged that the outcomes of such a dialogue will lead to recommendations on: (i) conditions necessary for maximising dynamic and innovative partnerships between private sector, non-state actors and government, (ii) funding instruments for research and innovation, (iii) the potential role of SMEs and large enterprises in funding FNSSA initiatives; (iv) linking the agricultural sector to non-traditional funding opportunities, and (v) addressing challenges with respect to policy and R&I funding. 
  • Good practices in private sector engagement in FNSSA – a case study of the National Food Technology Centre, Botswana, Dr Boitshepo Miriam Keikotlhaile – National Food Technology Centre, Botswana
  • Good practices in private sector engagement in FNSSA – a case study of the SANBio Network

22 May 2017. 8:30 – 13:00 Challenges and Best Practices in Commercialising Research (RINEA, CAASTNET PLUS, DST SARIMA)
This workshop brought together technology transfer practitioners and those involved in the commercialisation of research results to share best practices and experiences, exchange knowledge and collectively identify practical ways to address common challenges. In particular this workshop explored techniques and innovative models for commercializing research results through the exchange of good practices from both EU and African countries, identifying bottlenecks in the market uptake of research results highlighting common traits in EU and Africa; pin-pointed existing obstacles in cooperation between EU-African technology broker professionals; and laid out a path for cooperation among technology transfer stakeholders from both regions taking into consideration recent developments in the wider EU-Africa R&I cooperation. 

Speakers:
  • Insights from High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) in Africa – EU STI – Mr Tapsoba Issa, Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation – Burkina Faso 
  • Africa – EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) – Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
According to the concept note, the KMCS is an initiative which aims to respond to the “need for an Africa‐EU platform for structured access to all knowledge, outputs and lessons learned from various initiatives and research projects, as well as the need for a communication strategy, not only for the implementation of the Roadmap on FNSSA but also for the transfer of knowledge into solutions, including the national decision‐makers and potential investors in Research and Innovation (R&I) and entrepreneurs.” See draft agenda
  • Existing initiatives on FNSSA big data collection 
  • The role of technology transfer officers in establishing the KMCS 
  • Good practice methods and principles for knowledge sharing 
  • Identifying methodological/technical needs for a joint Africa-EU KMCS on FNSSA 
  • Big data sharing infrastructure: what is needed?

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

©2017 Afrimash  a premium agro-innovative community Afrimash

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