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  • Foto do escritorNayana Machado

Science Forum South Africa 2021“Igniting conversations for World Science Forum 2022”1-3 December 2

Session Title: Promoting cross-border incubation partnerships in agritech

Date: Wednesday, 1 December 2021 Time: 15:30-17h00

Session Overview:

Among the many similarities to be found between Brazil and South Africa is the vital importance of agriculture and a bustling startup environment, both of which are underpinned by the opportunities to be realized through the optimization of the agritech sector. Building on the strength and complementarities of Brazilian and South African expertise in agricultural research institutes and on the technological talent of young entrepreneurs, the Embassy of Brazil in South Africa, the Brazilian Association of Science Parks, Business Incubators and Accelerators (ANPROTEC), the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa (DSI), and the Technology Innovation Agency of South Africa (TIA), with the support from the Innovation Diplomacy Program of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, launched the Brazil-South Africa cross-incubation program on agritech.

In September and November of 2021, 11 agritechs from each country, for an entire week, received privileged contact with each other’s innovation environment, as an exercise dedicated to accelerating the internationalization of products, processes and services of innovative ventures. The program was virtual and offered opportunities for partnership, businesses and a better understanding of each country's environment.

The objective of this session is to share the results of the program and the impressions of participating companies and institutions, with a special focus on the many opportunities offered by South-South cooperation, challenges for agritech companies in each country, challenges for their internationalization, and how initiatives like the cross-incubation program can help them overcome these issues.


Opening of the session:

• Welcoming remarks by the Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Sérgio França Danese (5 min)


• Dr. Vuyisile Phehane – Executive:Bio-Economy of TIA (10 min)

• Mr. Rodrigo Mendes – Director of International Relations of ANPROTEC (10 min)

• Representative from SA participating company - Retang Phaahla - Setšong Tea Range (10 min)

• Representative from Brazil's participating company – Nayana Machado – Naila IoT (10 min)

• Representative from SA participating company - Dr. Deon Neveling – Biotikum (10 min)

• Representative from Brazil's participating company - Neuvira Silva – BIA Technology - (10 min)

Open to Q&A – 25 minutes


Ms Senisha Moonsamy - Head of Innovation Skills Development and Enterprise Development & GCIP at the Technology Innovation Agency. Senisha Moonsamy is currently the Head of Innovation Skills Development and Enterprise Development & GCIP at the Technology Innovation Agency. She holds a honours in strategic Management from UCT. In the past 7 years she headed up International programmes and raised R100m focussing on economic growth through entrepreneurship and Implementation of Accelerator Programmes in South Africa namely:

• Foresight Leadership Innovation Programme with Sandford and ILB

• Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (UNIDO)

• Swiss SA Venture Leader Programme, (University of Basel) & newly formed Swiss African Science and Business Innovators SASBI Group

• UK Newton Funded Programmes Leaders in Innovation Fellowship with Royal Academy of Engineering Oxetia and SOFI with Innovate UK and KTN with Nigeria and Kenya

• Deepening the South to South Collaboration with the Brazil Embassy in SA through the “ Brazil-SA Cross Incubation Support Programme in Agritech” .


1- H.E. - Sérgio France Danese – Ambassador of Brazil in South Africa. Ambassador Sérgio França Danese is a career diplomat. He joined the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 and during his career has held several positions, including Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs (2015-2016). He has served as the Brazilian Ambassador to Algeria (2005-2009) and to Argentina (2016-2020) and is the Ambassador of Brazil to South Africa since December 2020.

2 – Dr. Vuyisile Phehane - Executive: Bio-Economy, at the Technology Innovation Agency. Vuyisile Phehane completed his doctoral studies at the University of Cape Town in the Department of Chemical Pathology. His working career started at SA Bioproducts, in 2002. He later joined the CSIR, as Process Scientist in the Biocatalysis Group of the Biotechnology Division. He joined the Innovation Fund as Programme Manager, and then Commercialization Manager. This was pursued further at BioPAD as Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing Portfolio Manager. He then spent 7 years as the Senior Manager: Commercialization, at the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. Vuyisile is currently the Executive: Bio-Economy, at the Technology Innovation Agency, responsible for driving the Bio-Economy strategy of South Africa.

3 – Mr. Rodrigo Mendes – Director of International Relations of ANPROTEC. Founder and CEO of Bridge4Global. Ecosystem Relations at CRIABIZ Ventures and Country Manager Brazil for UGlobally. He is the Director of International Relations of ANPROTEC. Expert Consultant for start-ups and innovation ecosystems internationalization. Angel Investor, Mentor and Startup Advisor. He was an Executive Manager of International

Business Development at São José dos Campos Technology Park. Aerospace Brazil Program Manager in partnership with APEX Brasil. Also was Director of Innovation, and later Executive Director of the Sorocaba Technology Park. Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sorocaba Technology Business Incubator. He is a Post-Graduate lawyer in International Economic and Commercial Law and in Management and Execution of Technological Innovation Projects.

4 – Retang Phaahla - Setšong Tea Range From 2011, Retang furthered her studies with University of Pretoria studying Bsc Quantity Surveying. Retang is a Quantity Surveryor by trade yet decided to pursue a career in Agriculture since 2016. She is currently the Managing Director of Summer Trading 87 (Pty) Ltd which is a value addition and distribution partner in the development of the Setšong Tea Range – which is an indigenous tea brand – utilising untapped indigenous flora growing within the natural landscapes of Sekhukhune, Limpopo. Her unique professional experience stems from years of social activism, community development, cost planning and creative problem solving.

5 – Nayana Machado – Naila IoT, environmental engineer, Master's student in the area of environmental monitoring and hydrological modeling, has experience with environmental licensing and investigation of contaminated areas and risk characterization. She is currently a researcher for the Paraná State Government project on updating the greenhouse gas inventory and mitigation plan. She is interested in social entrepreneurship and watershed management, currently co-founder of NAILA Environmental Monitoring, together with her partner Larissa Warnavin, seek to create an open environmental data base and help communities adapt to climate change.

6 – Dr. Deon Neveling is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biochemistry at Stellenbosch University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2018 from Stellenbosch University. He has 11 years research experience which focuses on bacterial taxonomy, probiotic development, antimicrobial drug discovery, nanotechnology, and biosensors development. He has published 14 peer-reviewed publications and 3 patents. Deon is the cofounder and CEO of Biotikum (Pty) Ltd. which is a spinout company of the University of Stellenbosch. Biotikum esearch, develops and produces microbial additives for the agricultural industry to promote sustainable farming.

7 – Neuvira Silva – BIA Technology Neuvira Silva is a biologist and the International Representative of BIA Technology. The company helps milk producers to raise their income have a healthy herd and bring a better milk quality to consumers throughout an early diagnose of mastitis in the dairy herd.

Session organiser(s) Embassy of Brazil in South Africa - Helena Lobato da Jornada. Head of the Science,

Technology and Innovation Sector -

Technology Innovation Agency – Senisha Moonsamy, Head of Innovation Skills Development

and Enterprise Development -

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