The capacity building program is implemented by SARIMA and SANBio in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat Directorate of Industrial development and Trade (IDT) through a Financing Agreement (FA).
SARIMA brings research and innovation management practitioners together (such as scientific researchers, Intellectual Property Practitioners and Technology Transfer Officers), to strengthen these disciplines and institutional capabilities across the SADC region. It operates at an individual, institutional, national and international level, as well as across the continuum from research – where new knowledge that can drive innovation is created- through to innovation – which takes new knowledge and translates it into spin offs, products and services. It has anchored itself as a key role player within the SADC regional system of research and innovation (R&I), providing thought leadership and advocacy, a platform for the promotion and facilitation of best practices, and championing efforts to build and strengthen capacity & capabilities, within institutions and for individual practitioners.
The SANBio Network is a shared biosciences research, development and innovation platform for working collaboratively to address some of Southern Africa’s key biosciences issues in areas such as agriculture, indigenous knowledge systems and the environment. The Network is comprised of the 16 SADC member states and operates within both a regional hub and country nodes. Its current partner Member States are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe. SANBio is also a member of the SADC Indigenous Knowledge Systems Technical Experts Advisory Group and has been working hard to encourage researchers from the SADC region to collaborate on projects of strategic importance to the region. SANBio supports its partner member states through mentorship and advice to enable them to effectively manage relevant processes and activities such as IP management. Through its Access and Benefit Sharing mechanism, SANBio provides support to projects that have traditional knowledge as an input into technology/product commercialisation and has major implications on IP and technology commercialisation, which require Prior Informed Consent, Material Transfer Agreement and Benefit Sharing Agreement. This capacity development support which includes skills training for relevant individuals is based on a practical approach, preferences and experiences of partners and their peers when commercialising technology through licensing or new ventures (start-up) to contribute to the creation of sustainable-technology-based jobs in the regional economy and to promote economic development and the competitiveness of the regional biosciences industry and generate a return on the R&D investment for the region.
The SANBio network also has demonstrable practical experience that provides sufficient confidence in its project implementation and capacity-building models and mechanisms. Importantly this attests that its models and mechanism of support prove to be more effective than other models because the researchers maintain a spirit of collaboration and continue working together even after a project support and funding cycle has lapsed. Using its models and experience, the SANBio Network will collaborate with the SADC Secretariat to strengthen Member States capacities and institutional frameworks required for effective implementation of the SADC Protocol on STI.
1. Purpose and objectives of the Expert workshop on the toolkit
The purpose of the capacity building program is to equip the Member State with the relevant skills and knowledge on how to develop their own capacity to implement their STI policies in line with the provisions of the SADC Protocol on STI, as well as to provide a platform for the Member states to establish collaborative models that are driven by technology and product development with intension to commercialise.
The countries beneficiaries of the capacity building program are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Eswatini, targeting the researchers from universities and research institutions, offices of technology transfer and/or research management from these institutions, bio-entrepreneurs and national government officials responsible for STI policy development and implementation through national initiatives or structures or agencies.
The objectives of the capacity building program are to:
- create an awareness to the rsearchers, technology transfer officers, government officials and SMEs about the importance of data collection, monitoring and protection in line with the SADC STI Protocol and policies;
- sstrengthen key national stakeholders’ capacities on resource mobilisation for STI policy implementation
- strengthen STI policy frameworks to ensure national-regional linkages
The key training areas of the capacity building program are:
- Proposal writing. A proposal toolbox will be developed for the Member States
- Scientific research ethics. The research ethics guidelines will be developed for the Member States
- Development of IKS Policy guidelines. These guidelines will be developed for the Members to use in developing national IKS policies
- Operationalisation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and impact on scientific research informed by indigenous knowledge. The guidelines will be developed for the Member countries to use in their respective countries to guide on what to do to comply with the national legislations on access and benefit sharing.
2. How the Expert workshop is going to be delivered?
The program was held on the 1st of September for experts to critically review the toolbox and then will be delivered at a regional level in the form of a training workshop with experts invited to provide input to the scientific toolkit.
The purpose of the workshop was to get a critical analysis in the form of inputs and comments into the toolkit to strengthen its quality of content, through discussions within the context of the SADC Protocol on STI. The toolkit, which has been developed includes the following sections:
- Business Canvas Model and innovation activities to improve business models for effective business development and commercialisation activities by bioentrepreneurs;
- requirements of the implementation of the Nagoya protocol, research ethics and how to identify available funding opportunities and draft bankable proposals by the researchers;
- institutional budgeting for technology transfer and IP including Nagoya protocol implementation, identify available funding opportunities and draft bankable proposals in collaboration with researchers by technology transfer managers;
- mentorship on technology, market and regulatory readiness levels in line with the SADC STI Protocol for all targeted stakeholders;
This electronic resource is aimed at researchers, bioentrepreneurs, national government departments/ministries responsible for STI with a focus on natural product research informed by traditional knowledge and associated biodiversity within the SADC region;
The purpose of this Regional experts workshop is to host regional roundtable discussions on the toolkit that is current, relevant and provides guidance toward best practices or case studies: as well as takes into account information from a diverse set of sources that are within the fields and practices of grant writing for scientific grants and technology and innovation funding.
The scientific toolbox will be on our website as a resource once it is validated and approved.