2022: A milestone year for engaging with the Kenyan innovation ecosystem

Posted on: 16/12/2022

Global Alliance Africa at Innovate UK KTN are pleased to present a round-up of activity for this year. The team wish you all the very best for 2023.

As we near the holiday season, the Kenyan team at Global Alliance Africa is pleased to report that 2022 has been a bumper year for our efforts in the region. Under the leadership of Sheilah Birgen and Basil Malaki, we are excited to share some of our project wins and successes from the past few months – all of which played a crucial role towards building stronger UK-African partnerships and achieving our goal of creating new and improved opportunities for access to market, investment, and collaboration between players in the British and Kenyan innovation ecosystems.

With the aim of addressing the lack of access to innovation finance in Africa, and as part of our Strengthening the Investment Pipeline intervention, we partnered with the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs (ACIH) and the Association of Startup & SME Enablers of Kenya (ASSEK). Together, we conducted training sessions with the managers and investors of leading ecosystem support organisations in marginalised communities, with the aim of helping them master the Innovation Canvas – an important tool for novel innovators-turned-entrepreneurs, to help them identify solutions to important challenges in the product development process. To learn more about the Innovation Canvas, click here.

2022 also saw us take a crucial first step towards the launch of our first Global Innovation Network (GIN), focusing on innovation in the Kenyan health sector. We hosted a Roundtable on the Commercialisation of Health Innovation in collaboration with the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) and the Department of International Trade. As part of our collaborative R&D funding intervention, we hosted an Energy Catalyst Round 9 brokerage event in collaboration with the Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), the largest association of members in the energy sector. Here, organisations across the public, private and civil sectors explored the various funding opportunities provided through the UK’s Ayrton Fund, in support of building strategic partnerships between energy players in Kenya and the UK. You can read more about this event here.

With the support of the Eldoret Innovation Network Advisory Board (EINAB), the Place-Based Innovation intervention held a market access forum with a focus on the indigenous vegetable value chain in the Eldoret region of Kenya. The event brought together a select group of local farmers, marketers, agri-researchers and seed suppliers, to discuss opportunities and challenges in the space, and resulted in five farmers getting into contractual agreements with local marketers. Click here to read more about our Advisory Board.

Global Alliance Africa - Kenya
Global Alliance Africa - Kenya

More recently, the Kenyan team has been investigating intellectual property rights in Kenya, as part of our Innovation Governance Knowledge Exchange intervention, which links African innovation policy stakeholders with their international peers, to share best practice and enhance African governance systems. In partnership with ACIH, we conducted 10 regional roundtables exploring intellectual property rights – a first in Kenya – which attracted more than 3,000 participants, with the aim of identifying how the current regime on intellectual property rights relates to the lives of everyday innovators. As we write this, the team is preparing to showcase these findings as part of Kenya Innovation Week (KIW), an annual innovation ecosystem event hosted by the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) – however, we will be sure to share our insights with you once they are made public.

With 2023 just a few weeks away, we are excited to share that plans are already underway to announce the launch of Energy Catalyst Round 10 – as well as our first AgriFood Showcase event, where we aim to connect stakeholders in agriculture from across Kenya and the UK, to explore how innovators in the two regions can work together, to accelerate sustainable farming and resource management in Africa.

To stay up-to-date on all these activities and more, be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to the newsletter on our website. Otherwise we wish all our partners, collaborators and peers in Kenyan innovation space a prosperous and fruitful year ahead, as we work together to build a more innovative and inclusive world.

About Global Alliance Africa

The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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Twitter: @KTN_Global

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Webpage: ktn-uk.org/programme/africa

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Basil Malaki

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Basil Malaki

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Global Alliance Africa

Global Alliance Africa

This Innovate UK Global Alliance Africa 6-year (2019-2025) project funded by UK International Development aims to build new and stronger UK-African partnerships to maximise the creation of inclusive market access, funding and investment opportunities through innovation knowledge transfer between the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.


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