German-African Innovation Incentive Award 2018 of the BMBF

Four African scientists awarded by Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek for outstanding research achievements

Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz from the Innovation Capability Center participated on invitation of the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) at the event of the German-African Innovation Award 2018 as multiplier in the field of international collaboration. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek honored four scientists from Africa for their outstanding research achievements with the German-African Innovation Award.

Federal Minister of Research Karliczek with the winners of the German African Innovation Incentive Award

On the occasion of the award ceremony, Federal Minister Karliczek said: “The German-African Innovation Award is a measure within the framework of our Africa Strategy, which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has set up to support science, research and development in Africa. I am pleased that today we are honoring such promising talents and projects. The award winners are making bold progress with their joint projects, which provide innovative solutions in Africa and offer people new perspectives. We want to honor your scientific achievements today and thus promote sustainable development on the African continent. Because it is important to us and also a core goal of our Africa strategy to support scientists in their research. Therefore, we will award the prize in the coming years, in order to continue to provide important impulses for German-African cooperation and innovation in Africa. The prize is awarded in the form of project funding for German-African cooperation projects. The aim is to strengthen local and regional innovation capacities in the African partner countries. At the same time, the foundations for the establishment of a sustainable innovation structure are to be created. New and skilled jobs can be created in this way in Africa.

This year, scientists from Uganda, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria were awarded together with the German cooperation partners from Humboldt University in Berlin, the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, the University of Kassel and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing. The prize is endowed with 150,000 euros each. The award-winning projects deal with innovative solutions in different areas of life: A novel multimedia application for mobile phones improves health information for pregnant women, including illiterates, in rural areas. Cassava shells, otherwise only waste material in Africa, are processed into new, high-quality building materials. In the German-Egyptian cooperation, novel energy supply systems for buildings are being developed that reduce the cooling energy requirement. And the problem of high post-harvest losses in Africa due to improper storage is adressed by a new grain storage technology, which will be used by local start-up companies.

See also press release: https://www.bmbf.de/de/deutsch-afrikanischer-innovationsfoerderpreis-2018-verliehen-6133.html

Self Commitment to the “Doing Development Differently Manifesto” and to PDIA Principles

Dr. Boronowsky signed on behalf of the Innovation Capability Center at Bremen University the “Doing Development Differently (DDD) Manifesto”. The Manifesto is a statement of the Doing Development Differently workshop. The workshop was hosted in October 2014 by the Building State Capability (BSC) program at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The Innovation Capability Center is fully agreeing to the common principles of successful initiatives addressed in this manifesto:

  • They focus on solving local problems that are debated, defined and refined by local people in an ongoing process.
  • They are legitimised at all levels (political, managerial and social), building ownership and momentum throughout the process to be ‘locally owned’ in reality (not just on paper).
  • They work through local conveners who mobilise all those with a stake in progress (in both formal and informal coalitions and teams) to tackle common problems and introduce relevant change.
  • They blend design and implementation through rapid cycles of planning, action, reflection and revision (drawing on local knowledge, feedback and energy) to foster learning from both success and failure.
  • They manage risks by making ‘small bets’: pursuing activities with promise and dropping others.
  • They foster real results – real solutions to real problems that have real impact: they build trust, empower people and promote sustainability.

Our center wants to be member of the emerging community of development practitioners and observers, that believes that development initiatives can – and must – have greater impact. We pledge to apply these principles in our own efforts to pursue, promote and facilitate development progress, to document new approaches, to spell out their practical implications and to foster their refinement and wider adoption.

Furthermore, we want to point out the importance of an approach called Process Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) for building and developing state capabilities. PDIA is the building block of a fast growing initiative “Building State Capability” that is currently also supported by World Bank. We considerate it the future in building capability and will give a deeper analysis of PDIA and its adaptation to the domain “building innovation capability” in our next blog posting.

The development approaches of our center in the field of knowledge transfer, research valorization and innovation are highly in line with the ideas of PDIA. We understand all developments as highly contextualized with a strong need for local solutions of problems that require exploration, experimentation and failures as well. We do not believe that brute force copies of external best practices, tons of foreign “lecture style” trainings or huge investments in infrastructure without real adaptation to the local systems will help to generate sustainable societal and economic impact of research driven activities.

The tools and methods of the Innovation Capability Center follow the ideals addressed in the DDD-Manifesto and they are conformant to the principles of PDIA. They are supporting iterative continuous management approaches that can be adapted to any maturity level of organizations and are driven in a bottom up fashion, like the ISO/IEC standard conformant process reference model innoSPICE. Our center wants to complement input-output driven approaches. According to our experiences,  conventional evaluation methods might  be misleading for developing innovation systems. We provide sensitive instruments in capability development which feed small initiatives with space and conditions they need to grow.

The Innovation Capability center is committed to spread the word and the necessity of the principles of the DDD-Manifesto, approaches like PDIA, CLA and Adaptive Management among their partners and beyond. We want to be a part of an equal minded community digging deeper and do not stop until problems are solved in the real world and not only in papers!

The management team of the Innovation Capability Center at Bremen University

Dr. Michael Boronowsky & Tanja Woronowicz

Innovation Capability Center visited Agya Conference, Berlin

IMG_2965

Migration and Transnational Cooperation

Dr. Michael Boronowsky from the innovation Capability center at the University of Bremen visited the conference

Migration and Transnational Cooperation in Education, Research and Innovation, 2 – 3 May 2016, Berlin, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Kapelle-Ufer 1, 10117 Berlin.

Migration and flight open up a wide variety of chances and cause at the same time major challenges to societies in the Arab world as well as in Europe, including Germany. The AGYA Working Group Arab and German Education provided new impetus on migration issues, in particular from Arab perspectives, and discussed on education across borders. In five thematic workshops renowned scientists and high-ranking experts addressed the following topics:

  • Agya-posterIntegrating migrants into the university
  • Innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Online and blended learning initiatives and institutions
  • Teacher education and education research
  • Migration research and education

Furthermore, the event offered a dialogue platform for Arab and German university presidents to enhance the mutual recognition of conditions and requirements in the respective higher education systems and to facilitate circular migration of students and scientists.

The event was visited by 200 scientist and Universities leaders from 19 Countries. It was an excellent platform for exchange on operative but also on a political level. The Innovation Capability Center visited the workshop for technology transfer and innovation, where several presentations were given related to the current situation of tech trans in the Arab world and several best practices were introduced during this event.

ENGAGE selected

Our finished European INTERREG 4C Project ENGAGE logois selected to represent the INTERREG 4C program (now INTERREG Europe) on the 25 years anniversary of the INTERREG program. The event will take place 15.-16.9.2015 in Luxembourg and ENGAGE will be presented during the “Project Slam”. The draft program of this event can be found here.

Among others the project was selected because of its “outstanding” and “cutting-edge” communication strategy with “high reach into politics”. Together with our regional partners from eventfive we were responsible for the planning and implementation of the project communication strategy.