Joint project on fostering sustainable development in Africa
One year into the TeTraPHar project, together with the Institute of Sustainability in Civil Engineering (INaB) we had the pleasure to welcome representatives of Mzumbe University (MU) in Tanzania and the Uganda Cleaner Production Centre (UCPC) as part of a joint project with RWTH Aachen University on sustainable development in Africa. On their personal visit to Aachen, Francis Mwaijande (MU) and Tomson Akankwasa (UCPC) explored the city and engaged in a fruitful exchange with RWTH researchers and tech transfer experts on how to foster capacity building for the scale-up of cleaner production and post-harvest technologies towards sustainable development in Uganda and Tanzania.
TeTraPHar Africa is a project on research result up-take in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) started on 1 October 2020 and is planned to run for 2 years. The overall objective of TeTraPHar Africa is to promote the collaborative step-wise strengthening of technology transfer structures at Mzumbe University and the Uganda Cleaner Production Centre in order to trigger opportunities for science-industry collaborations in scaling-up the use of sustainable technologies in companies, especially in SMEs.
With the technical support of RWTH, the project aims at enhancing the capacity of UCPC and MU to identify and assess the sustainability performance of technologies in the specific context of Uganda and Tanzania. It will increase the capacity of MU and UCPC to connect with technology developers, designers, artisans, and users of technology such as farmers, entrepreneurs and technical personnel for fostering the adoption of sustainable technologies in Tanzania and Uganda.
The main goals are:
- Generating opportunities for science-industry collaborations in scaling-up the use of sustainable technologies in companies, especially SMEs,
- Supporting Africa in achieving the UN SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
- Developing sustainable post-harvest technologies for food security, e.g., Solar Drying House,
- Addressing socio-economic dimensions of sustainable development in Africa,
- Ensuring knowledge flow through sharing of expertise among RWTH, MU and UCPC.
RWTH Aachen University, through the Institute of Sustainability in Civil Engineering (INaB), is the project applicant and will also provide knowledge on sustainable development to identify and assess sustainability performance, in particular implementing Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). Professor Marzia Traverso, senior engineer Rose Nangah Mankaa and researcher Manouchehr Shokri provided the African partners with knowledge and hands-on experience in conducting sustainability assessments addressing the environmental, social and economic dimensions. Moreover, the African partners were equipped and trained in using life cycle assessment softwares, in particular, Simapro, for evaluating environmental impacts of post-harvest loss reduction technologies. In addition, under the work package “Fostering Partnerships”, RWTH Innovation trained the guests from UCPC and MU on technology transfer and business relations management. In an interactive workshop on the prerequisites and feasibility of capacity building for scaling up sustainable technologies, the researchers and Innovation Managers discussed the possibilities of adapting the Aachen way of supporting and implementing tech transfer to the needs and goals of the partner institutions in Tanzania and Uganda. In visits to the Collective Incubator and the digtialChurch Aachen, the guests were also introduced to the infrastructure it takes for research to become innovation.
Following the delegation’s visit to Aachen, the INaB will move on with the implementation of the TeTraPHaR project, including the development of a mobile application for connecting farmers, research and industry, the Technology Exposition in Uganda and PhD programme supervision. RWTH Innovation will continue to collaborate with the researchers on conceptualising and setting up structures for tech transfer and business cooperation at their institutions.
We would like to thank our guests for coming all the way from Uganda and Tanzania! We enjoyed the fruitful exchange and look forward to continue our mutual support on how to drive tech transfer and sustainable development forward.