South Africa does not have large-scale vaccine manufacturing capability. The Biovac Institute – a public-private partnership between the South African government and a consortium of South African healthcare companies – is beginning to get into vaccine manufacture with an eye on more secure and accessible childhood vaccine supplies for southern Africa. But this capability is still in its infancy. It’s small compared to the COVID-19 vaccine market.
We (humans) produce a million plastic water bottles per minute. Bottled water is the product with this highest price markup, I believe only behind cinema popcorn.
Packaging is the biggest challenge that we have because a lot of polystyrene is used. Polystyrene is a scourge on the planet leaving a huge environmental footprint.
We use this compound so much when you can literally go into the forest and find a mushroom species that can be cloned and potentially grown in perpetuity into materials that can fill that gap.
There have been recent controversial cuts to the UK’s aid budget – slashed from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5% last month – which have undermined the country’s commitment to “be a force for good in the world”. The cuts will have a devastating impact on the provision of services in humanitarian crises, such as in Yemen, and it will also affect vital research projects.
The COVID pandemic has shown us the need to reimagine the role of universities. We cannot just rely on universities to respond to the need of building human and intellectual capital but also business capital. We also cannot forego social capital.
The triple helix method of innovation doesn't hold if the community is not involved sufficiently.
We have different organizations in Africa that do a lot but we still come short when it comes to partnerships. I believe we have to start big in this instance. We can begin from our large economic formations such as SADC and COMESA and cascade down.
Universities can also take the agency through different initiatives such as our entrepreneurial drive that led to the establishment of the Agritech Park. We want to groom entrepreneurs to invest in modern agriculture.