Data Driven Innovation (DDI) for Food and Nutrition Security Incubation Center

Project name: Data Driven Innovation for Food and Nutrition  Security Incubation Center

Summary of the Project

Governments, industries, and individuals- especially investors and market off-takers – in many African countries face a big problem of getting authentic data required for planning, designing and implementing agricultural policy interventions and projects. Often data are acquired from abroad at a high cost and actually in most cases those data are not even authentic. This has affected negatively the realization of Innovation hubs in East Africa and in the continent in general.

Understandably, in this digital age, data and communication now underpin global trade and commerce and increasingly so. Data drives innovation in many different spheres of life, popularly known as Data Driven Innovation (DDI). To address these complex challenges, the CREATES  establishes an Incubation Center which use a multidisciplinary approach to analyses data collected from many farmers, off-takers, extension officers, researchers, farm sites, policy makers and financing agents to;

  • Support DDI to drive Farming as a Business (FAAB) through development and incubating ICT based smart solutions for the agriculture industry and other related sectors.
  • Create models and do simulations to aid decision making, facilitating innovative research, training, and outreach programmes in the region, taking advantage of the strong existing international and regional collaboration activities in the NM-AIST and CREATES-FNS.

Approach: This project is implemented at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology through the Centre for Research Agricultural advancement and Teaching Excellence and Sustainability (CREATES) in Arusha, Tanzania.

The DDI Incubation Centre is one of the four Regional Incubators started and supported by the Inter Universities Council for East Africa (IUCEA) with grants from the World Bank. The Incubation Centre focuses on four main thematic areas; Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, Biodiversity and the Environment, and Health with ICT and entrepreneurship being the backbone drivers of these areas.

Project Objectives:

  • To nurture innovations, inventions and start-up businesses in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable enterprises;
  • To provide a platform for speedy commercialization of innovations and inventions developed by researchers, innovators, inventors and new entrepreneurs;
  • To build a vibrant start-up ecosystem, by establishing a network between academia, financial institutions, industries and other institutes;
  • To facilitate business negotiations and linkages between innovators and inventors under mutual agreement on business financing, ownership and capital ventures in the Eastern African region and beyond;
  • To establish robust data management systems on agricultural practices and services for informed innovations by students, researchers, investments decision makers and other development partners for increased industrial production in the Eastern African region and beyond.