Six entrepreneurs have been selected to further develop their innovation for increasing food security for the poorest part of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. They submitted the best plans for the SBIR call Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The small, mainly start-up entrepreneurs have 9 months to develop their innovation and a budget of a maximum of €150,000 per entrepreneur. The Ministries of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality have made a total contribution of €2.77 million available for this. This SBIR must produce for Sub-Saharan Africa a demonstrably higher yield in the food chain or more accessible, affordable and healthier food, also for the poorest consumers.
The 6 winning companies
- Cambisol: Ecosystem Kickstarter, a foldable biodegradable design for Uganda that retains water, protects seeds when germinating and contributes to the repair of a damaged ecosystem.
- COIN22: Blockchain Innovation wallet is a digital platform for various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that gives farmers access to high-quality agricultural products, financing, training and advice.
- MetaMeta Research: Bio-based Rodent Control Product, an environmentally friendly anti-rodent product in Ethiopia to protect food crops.
- VanderSat: aMaizing, a drought or flood insurance for maize farmers in Kenya based on satellite data.
- Satelligence: Geodata enters into battle with the army worm. This project uses satellite data to predict the damage and spread of this insect so farmers can take appropriate measures in time and limit harvest losses.
- Waterwatch Projects: Crop Disease Alert and Tracking solution detects crop diseases based on weather data, satellite images and ground based photos taken by local farmers in Kenya.
A total of 46 proposals were submitted in May 2018. An independent committee of experts selected the best 20 plans based on 3 criteria. Following a feasibility study plans for further research and development of the 20 innovations were submitted mid-March 2019. The committee then selected the 6 best plans from this. The criteria on which the choice was made are: impact on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa; innovation; project quality; and economic perspective. The committee also looked at cooperation with local partners in Sub-Saharan Africa and the involvement of women.
With the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) the Netherlands government challenges entrepreneurs to solve societal issues with innovative products and services. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) implements SBIR.