infoDev's 2nd Climate Innovation Center workshop was held in Nairobi, Kenya on May 21st. The event was successful and very well attended with over 55 guests, 12 speakers and 6 working groups all participating throughout the day. The outcomes of the workshop included the development of specific programs, services and activities that a Climate Innovation Center in Kenya could provide to overcome barriers to innovation as defined in the 1st workshop in March. Representatives from both the PM's office and Ministry of Environment attended and spoke at the event, endorsing the project and infoDev as an implementation partner.
Four entrepreneurs presented on their climate technologies, the opportunities they see and the challenges they face:
WinAfrique: Is the first company to integrate solar and wind renewable energy into the telecom sector. Since 2001, the company has set up 150 off grid base stations across the country.
Nuru Light: Nuru designs and sells an LED light and a peddle driven motor that charges the light. The innovation is in the delivery model where Nuru sells the recharging motor to entrepreneurs along with the lights.
Goodlite Energy Systems: Goodlite Energy Systems integrates the use of modern technologies in the lives of ordinary Kenyans in simple, affordable and culturally acceptable forms.
Craftskillz: Craftskillz designs and builds affordable wind turbines and LED lights. Since inception, Craftskillz has installed over 70 wind turbines that are still running to date.
Late in the morning, the finance panel discussed challenges and opportunities in ‘Building an investable pipeline of Cleantech SMEs in Africa’. Panelists included:
Richard Bell – East Africa Capital Partners
Corinne Figueredo – IFC’s Cleantech Venture Investment Team
Anne Murray – E+CO
Technology commercialization experts
In the afternoon, the international expert panel presented experiences in technology commercialization from their respective countries. The panel included:
Ambuj Sagar, Professor of Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology.
Ali Abo Sena: Egypt National Cleaner Production Center
Rajeev Aggarwal: KIST Incubator in Rwanda.
Wim Jonker Klunne: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa
Izael Da Silva: Center for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), Uganda
The international experts joined working groups in the afternoon to facilitate discussions on the design of potential innovation center programs and activities.
Using the output of the workshop, a business plan for a Climate Innovation Center in Kenya will be developed closely with key stakeholders and partners over the next few months.