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Promising innovator lands NASA scholarship

Published on September 06, 2017

Youth innovator, Alvin Leonard Kabwama, is on a roll! In May, he was a finalist in the USAID-sponsored East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 (EAPTC2017). He’s now joined world-class innovators at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research centre in Silicon Valley, USA, as part of their Singularity University, an eight-week intensive product design and development training. There, Alvin will network and share ideas with other young innovators, further developing ideas that can improve lives in his native Uganda.

Alvin presented his FoodSAFE technology at the EAPTC 2017. The technology comprises of a microcontroller-based system of ethylene sensors installed within storage facilities to measure the gas levels of food. FoodSAFE is capable of detecting, and alerting farmers, as to which food products are on the verge of spoiling.

FoodSAFE technology has been tested and tried in Makerere University-College of Food Science and Technology. The test sampled 75 fruits with 70 percent accuracy in detection. In Uganda’s Mukono District, the technology’s detection of ripening fruits was 68% accurate.

EAPTC 2017, managed by the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) and supported by a grant from the Hub, attracted over 200 innovators and researchers from East Africa. Technology identification, promotion and investment are key areas of focus at the Hub.