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MARCH 2009



Enabling Bio-innovations for Poverty Alleviation in Asia: Call for proposals

"Enabling Bio-Innovation For Poverty Alleviation in Asia" is a competitive research grants awarding program supported by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Asia Regional Office Singapore) in partnership with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT,Thailand). The project aims to stimulate and enable research on bio-innovation in Asia that addresses poverty alleviation, and to initiate and support the building of a network of researchers and scholars committed to understanding and enhancing bio-innovation towards economically progressive and socially responsible goals.

This research grants competition on bio-innovation for poverty alleviation in Asia is premised on two key insights from earlier meetings and publications. First, there is little known about patterns and characteristics of bio-innovation systems operating in the region and their social dynamics. Second, there is little understanding about how these existing bio-innovation systems actually affect poverty or are able to support poverty alleviation goals.

This program views innovation as the widespread generation and utilisation of knowledge in society involving the following features: interaction of diverse research and non-research organisations, individuals and groups; combinations of technological and institutional innovations; continuous evolutionary cycles of learning; shifting roles of information producers, users and a need based exchange of knowledge; and an institutional context that supports interactions, learning and knowledge flows. Innovation therefore is a social process involving and interlinking individuals and groups nested and operating in various domains or components such as: the research domain (e.g. R&D, universities, and private laboratories); enterprise domain (e.g. seed firms and vaccine manufacturing); demand domain (e.g. farmer-users, urban poor residents, primary health centers); and policy domain (e.g. government agencies; international protocols; policies specific to industry and agriculture, or public health and safety). (via Sciedev.net)