Highlights from the inaugural GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme event

Posted on: 08/04/2020

The KTN AgriFood Team bring you insights from the launch event for the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme.


On 9th-10th December 2019, the inaugural GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme event was held in London to begin building a community of stakeholders from numerous African countries and the UK and to raise awareness of opportunities available through this new programme.

*** A report outlining the outputs from the event is now available for download here. ***


The GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. In 2019, Innovate UK secured £26 million in GCRF funding to extend activities that had been initiated through the Agri-Tech Catalyst, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).

This Innovate UK-led programme is being delivered through three core activities:

1) Technology Accelerator Programme
2) Skills Training and Knowledge Transfer Programme
3) Dissemination and Coordination Activities


KTN has been funded to provide dissemination and coordination support to Innovate UK for the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme, which aims to realise sustainable management of the food production systems in Africa in a way that alleviates poverty, enhances economic prosperity and delivers improved wellbeing.

Target long term outcomes of the programme include:

Developing sustainable intensification of African agriculture
Improving human health and diversity of diets and nutrition
Impacting positively on rural income and food security
Facilitating increased trade activity in agricultural products

Event Highlights

The inaugural GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme event focused on sharing success stories and lessons learnt from ongoing collaborative initiatives. Initial presentations provided an overview of how the new programme fits into the wider GCRF funding landscape, what it aims to accomplish and available opportunities. The second session showcased a number of collaborative R&D projects funded through the Agri-Tech Catalyst scheme. Finally, an evening reception that included talks on concessional finance and corporate sustainability, wrapped up the first day.


The second day of the event was structured as a strategy workshop. Talks from stakeholders helped provide context for the programme, and speakers shared examples of and tips for effective networking, collaboration and dissemination. The rest of the day was dedicated to information gathering and discussion, as delegates were asked to share their insights and experiences using iterative rounds of real-time surveys (via Mentimeter) and break-out group discussions.


GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme event

Dr David Dent, CEO, Dent Associates Ltd commented:

A dynamic event that brought together a diverse range of participants Рand not just the usual people and faces and a mix of activities from formal talks to investment style pitches, stimulating cross-cutting  and thematic presentations from inspiring, knowledgeable speakers. The break out sessions were challenging and stimulating and made the networking sessions particularly rewarding. Well organised, well delivered and a pleasure to play a part in.


Key findings from the event are summarised in the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme Inaugural Event: Workshop Outputs report, which has been circulated to event delegates and is now available for download.

Dr Ochieng’ Odede, Technical Director, Sidai Africa (Kenya) Ltd mentioned:

“Thank you very much for the well organised and interactive event. I enjoyed¬†the¬†event and interactions.”

Next Steps

Insights gained from the December event will inform the approaches used for dissemination, design of training initiatives, stakeholder engagement, coordination with related networks and programmes, impact assessment and governance.


Knowledge gained and connections made during the event will facilitate the further development of communities based around key research and innovation priorities, which may be of particular use in future Knowledge Transfer Partnership applications.


The programme will also organise visits to one or more African states with UK industrial and academic participants to develop new partnerships and consortia for Agri-Tech Catalyst funding.


To receive regular updates on opportunities available through the GCRF AgriFood Africa programme, you can sign up to become a member of the network free of charge. For general enquiries, please email gcrf.agrifood@iuk.ktn-uk.org.

Share this article


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.