WHAT IS KTP?
KTP is a match-making platform that brings together seekers of expertise with providers of knowledge who are willing to share it in a project-based fashion.
KTP is a first of its kind initiative, organised by the CPGR, to assist with identification and pairing of experts with individuals or organisations in need of filling/addressing knowledge gaps. More specifically, KTP has been devised to assist with building capacity in computational biology and Bioinformatics on the African continent, areas of expertise that are critical to effectively driving research and innovation in the data-heavy scientific domains of Genomics and Proteomics.
WHAT PROBLEM DOES KTP TACKLE?
A shortage of practical skills and relevant expertise is often the primary obstacle to social upliftment and sustainable development in developing economies. Modern life sciences, as exemplified by the rapidly evolving field of Genomics, is a pillar of socio-economic development and innovation in developed nations; and, it is seen as catalysts of economic growth in emerging economies such China, India and Brazil, amongst others.
To prosper, these fields are dependent on the effective interpretation of large and complex sets of data. In Africa, the relevant skills are often not readily available which can delay or compromise biomedical and biotechnological research and development. As a remedy, scientists frequently revert to sharing their ideas or projects with collaborators in developed countries or sending individuals overseas for training purposes at a cost premium – as opposed to developing local capacity in a more sustainable fashion.
KTP HELPS SEEKERS OF KNOWLEDGE OVERCOME THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGES:
- Identifying an individual with the relevant expertise who is willing and able to make it available in a project-based fashion.
- Matching knowledge demand with relevant expertise in an effective manner, thereby enhancing the quality of outcomes.
- Designing training and capacity development initiatives in a sustainable manner.
WHAT IMPACT CAN KTP MAKE?
Impact is generated in four stages of the KTP process:
- KTP reduces the time taken to locate the expertise required in a project by providing seekers access to a wide range of experts in a database-guided fashion. Quality of the matchmaking process is guided by an advisory committee that ensures the best possible experts are linked to dedicated projects.
- Over a period of 2-6 months, a small focus group (typically 3 individuals) are trained and mentored by a dedicated expert. During this period, the individuals can apply, test and modify the acquired knowledge, thereby deepening the learning experience.
- At the end of a KTP project, expert and trainees then make their knowledge available to a larger group of individuals. This is aimed at further stimulating local knowledge base development and helping gauge additional training needs in a systemic fashion.
- Individual KTP trainees are encouraged to become local experts. Initially playing the role of junior experts, they can develop into senior experts by way of utilising the acquired knowledge practically and in training additional local recipients. This process will be assisted by the KTP.
HOW IS KTP FUNDED?
Funding for individual KTPs will be covered by one of the following means:
- Cost covered by individual knowledge seeker
- Sponsorship provided by private, public or philanthropic organisation
- Voluntary participation by experts
- Dedicated grant application
The CPGR nor KTP does not fund projects directly!
WHAT KTP IS NOT!
KTP is not a funding program! KTP has been designed to increase the efficiency of the knowledge-seeking and knowledge-transfer process by way of providing a match-making platform that pairs seekers and providers in an efficient and effective manner.
Expenses required for the fixed-term relocation of experts need to be covered by the knowledge seekers. Although experts may provide their services in –kind, additional costs for travel, accommodation and administration need to be covered.
Human Capacity Development Manager/ Bioinformatics, HCD, CPGR
PhD, Cranfield University, 2007
Reviewer Committee Chair
Schneider, Maria Victoria
Head, 361° Division, The Genome Analysis Centre
PhD, University of Rome, 2007
Scientific Advisory Committee co-Chair
Professor, Biotechnology, University of Mauritius
Professor, University of Mauritius