Background Science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies should be aligned with economic development. There is increasing recognition among African governments that STI should be central to the economic development agenda. This is 18evident from the adoption by the African Union (AU) of the Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) in 2005 and the Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2014–2024 in 2014. The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) derives its mandate from the CPA and was set up in 2005 as a platform to address and find means to resolve key problems in health, nutrition, agriculture, and environment in Southern Africa utilizing bioscientific innovations which incorporate indigenous knowledge and genetic resources.

Relevance Funding can be used to incentivize research which results in commercial outputs. In this chapter, SANBio showcases some of the projects they have funded in the past decade and draws the lessons learnt from both successful projects and those that failed.