The Africa Agri-Tech Development Forum: Financing the Future of Off-Farm Innovation in Africa
Over the course of four online events, Innovation Council member Bobab, brings together diverse groups of experts from business, academia and policy from Africa, the UK and beyond. In this third event of the Forum Boabab will be asking tough questions around exactly how an enabling environment can be created for private sector investment; one that facilitates and directs capital to the areas of the agricultural value chain that can have the greatest impact, for both short-term recovery and long-term transformation.
WIPO Training: Mentoring and Matchmaking Program on IP for Women Entrepreneurs
Open for applications: WIPO women entrepreneurship program for members of indigenous peoples and local communities. The program supports indigenous entrepreneurs in strategically using intellectual property tools to grow their businesses.
Submit your application by September 6, 2021 here.
‘Landmark initiative’: Ramaphosa, Macron announce new SA-based Covid-19 vaccine hub
President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France would invest in boosting the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, in order to help close the gap in vaccine availability between African and Western nations. South African Innovation Council member Biovac, which has a partnership with France, has partnered with African Biologics and Vaccines (a network of universities) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to establish Africa’s first Covid messenger RNA vaccine technology transfer hub.
As Locusts Swarmed East Africa, This Tech Helped Get Rid of Them
In 2020, billions of locusts descended on East African countries that had not seen them in decades. The cause? Unusual weather connected to climate change. Kenya last dealt with a plague of this scale more than 70 years ago; Ethiopia and Somalia, more than 30 years ago. Nineteen million farmers and herders across these three countries, which bore the brunt of the damage, saw their livelihoods severely affected.
Tech and crowdsourcing operations have proven useful in managing such locusts invasions more efficiently. The app PlantVillage, for example, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help farmers in 60 countries, primarily in Africa, diagnose problems in their fields. Borrowing from PlantVillage’s blueprint, another app called eLocust3m was developed in just a month. The success to date of these apps shows that crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence can be absolute game-changers for hundreds of millions of people as we adapt to climate change.
Acceleration Project 2021: Finding Ways to Valorize Palm Oil Waste in Indonesia
WIPO GREEN launched its Acceleration Project 2021, targeting a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the South-East Asian region: palm oil. In collaboration with Winrock International – a US-based environmental NGO with established expertise in sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia – WIPO GREEN aims to make green technology solutions for Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) treatment and valorization readily available to palm oil mills.
Quotes from speakers during the “Women in Innovation” webinar, International Women’s day 2021
The Women in Innovation: Providing leadership, Creating Solutions and Driving Change webinar, held on International Women’s Day 2021, offered a glimpse into the different paths of resilience that women have taken. The impactful stories told at the event brought to light the challenges faced by women across the African continent, and offered innovative solutions that can be used to solve Africa’s problems and transform livelihoods.
Read through the quotes of the speakers here.
Swiss sustainability benchmark: a call for Swiss businesses
The Swiss Sustainability Benchmark enables companies to understand its impact on customers, employees, suppliers, the broader community and the environment against sustainability best practices. The companies can take the Swiss Sustainability B_enchmark survey to get a snapshot of their performance based on international standards developed by B Lab and contribute to a collective and transformative process.
Nations Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech
Speaking at a panel organized by the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. Read full article here.
EU Commission adopts action plan on intellectual property
In late November 2020, the EU Commission published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.
Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorize their intangible assets. The Action Plan aims at enabling the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and at speeding up Europe’s green and digital transitions. In particular, the Action Plan sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.