Innovation Africa @UP is a research investment platform that is being built to incubate future-focused world-class research. The strategic intent is to drive cross-disciplinary collaboration to underpin frontier research that aligns University research strengths with Industry needs and Government priorities. With an initial focus on the future of Agriculture and Forestry, the aim is to capitalise on the momentum, competence and opportunity that lies at the intersection of biotechnology and information technology. The integration of biotechnology and digital technology offers a competitive advantage in the provision of research support capacity to these sectors. Harnessing and investing in these tools and capacity will enable a critical contribution towards the sustainability and resilience of the agricultural and forestry production systems.


To develop a world-class research and training platform that is committed to long-term research programmes that address important industry and government challenges.


  • A research investment platform that interfaces between academia, government and industry.
  • Build critical research mass
  • Advance and leverage research and innovation expertise
  • Training platform for new generation of researchers
  • Precision Agricultural and Forestry services
  • Portfolio of climatically diverse research field plot sites
  • Promote socio-economic development
  • A pan-African research centre of excellence

Core drivers

  • Research training
    • Research programmes
    • Satellite Labs
  • Research supporting infrastructure
    • Specialized research services provision (linked to research training)
    • Digital infrastructure (aiding frontier research training)
  • Capacity development
    • Internship programme