Innovation Factory is a collaborative effort, managed by GIZ, through which initiatives in Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal are brought together to explore ICT innovation based on actual needs in local contexts. This joint effort will render new concepts and approaches in order to propose a shared solution both for local and global contexts. icebauhaus, as technical advisors on ICT4Ag, supports local activists and organisations in the four selected countries. At the moment, the partners are preparing actions with following topics and objectives:
AN AGRIBUSINESS RURAL TECHHUB TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL TECH INNOVATION COMMUNITY IN SENEGAL
The general project idea is to focus on the development of innovative ICT solutions for the rural community in a first pilot phase in the region around Thiès (Senegal). Web platforms to create online market of the products, application to manage the logistics and help the producers to access the value chain and software to manage livestock and related activities will be some possible results that the community can achieve from this project. Themes such as sustainable development, organic farming and food security will represent principles to follow in order to better sensitise and create a community of youth to work on agribusiness topics. The hub will be also an opportunity to meet several successful experiences of ICT and agriculture startups of the country, and to set up a place of reflection to design innovative projects in the field of agriculture and livestock.
IMPROVE BEEKEEPING THROUGH ICT BASED METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN ETHIOPIA
The Ethiopian country unit of the Innovation Factory wants to advance and add to rural income generating activities, especially in the field of apiculture. They believe apiculture can be developed and marketed as an attractive option for self employment and income generation for smallholder farmers. The team wants to make a significant contribution in closing the gaps between ICT and apiculture in combination with private sector business development methodologies. They intend to realise this through the exploration of how ICT can contribute to apiculture in Ethiopia and the engagement of leading ICT practitioners. The work has great potential since Ethiopia has the highest number of bee colonies and surplus honey sources of flora in the world (Gidey and Mekonen, 2010).
COMMUNITY DRIVEN TECH-ACTION AND INDIGENIOUS KNOWLEDGE IN INDONESIA
The Innovation Factory project in Indonesia will reconnect Kasepuhan Ciptagelar to people of West Java and larger society with their local wisdom and cultural roots to enhance their ability to increase livelihood through sustainable agriculture. This initiative is also aimed to bridge the urban/rural gap through a platform of creativity, research and innovation and to bring local tradition and agricultural knowledge to the digital age, as well to encourage younger generations to take part in maintaining the ancestral farming tradition in the region. There is also a necessity to encourage people’s participation in the protection and preservation of culture and tradition through a strategic use of ICT/media tech in order to ensure it’s future development. In many remote areas, ICT has become an enabling factor that widens access to information and knowledge, connects and encourages grassroots innovation and productivity, as well bridges interaction and collaboration that can overcome the gap between urban and rural communities.