Kemiso Ben- Gaborone, Botswana
SAIS 2 national Focal Point, Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) recently held a stakeholder workshop in partnership with the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, (NEPAD SANBio) in Gaborone. Aimed at determining how stakeholders can collectively support the innovations developed in Botswana and to sustain them towards commercialization, the workshop showcased the results and outputs from the various projects led by biopreneurs, scientists and developers which have been implemented over the last 24-36 months. BIH is an innovative and networked organisation mandated with promoting and supporting commercializing innovations post prototype or proof of concept stages. The BioFISA II Programme is a 4 year programme supported by Ministry for Foreign Affair of Finland (MFA) and has been working to strengthen the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) since 2015 and will come to an end in June 2019. The Programme supports human capacity building, networking and the commercialisation of innovations in health and nutrition in 13 of the SADC member states. To date, approximately €1.8 million has been invested towards innovations in health and nutrition covering vitro diagnostics, forensics and superfoods for both humans and animals.
BIH has also committed R1 million to support innovations in health and nutrition and this portfolio includes the investments made in 13 innovations by the Programme and its partners in the SADC region in the form of seed and flagship grants. BIH and SANBIO with the support of the BioFISA II Programme partnered to implement key innovation projects, supported female bioentrepreneurs through the FemBioBiz acceleration programme which aims to address the gender gap in leadership positions in the bioscience-based businesses by imparting leadership and entrepreneurship skills to females. It acts as a stimulus for women to scale up their business ventures and set up best practices for other women to emulate.
Participants during the workshop Q&A session