In an article recently published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung, TUM SEED Center is mentioned among five flagship sustainability projects at TUM.

TUM SEED Center's Director Prof. Frank-Martin Belz, an expert in entrepreneurial sustainability at the TUM School of Management, emphasizes that while discussions about energy transition are ongoing, millions of people in the Global South still lack access to electricity. This lack of power not only deprives them of basic amenities but also negatively influences their economic prospects and exacerbates poverty.

The collaborative effort together with the eight partner universities aims to improve living conditions, create economic opportunities, and empower communities in the Global South, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable future.


The full article can be accessed here


The global energy transition will involve the accelerated deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. For the most, part big tech companies have committed to achieving zero emissions from their own activities. But it is their work in digitalization, artificial intelligence and information systems that could be potential game-changers in creating the smarter, more flexible energy systems needed to get to net-zero emissions. 

The GBSN for Energy Transition Impact Community is pleased to convene a five-part virtual series, Powering the Energy Transition: A Take of Two HemispheresThe series will explore key elements of the energy transition journey through the global north and global south lens. Hear from leaders in academia and industry about the enduring challenges and emerging opportunities on topics ranging from, repurposing legacy assets, financing, regulation, technology, and the role of business schools in the development of related skills.

Sessions will bridge attention to common goals with deep dives into critical nuances that differentiate the energy transition stories unfolding in different parts of the globe. 

Join us for Part I: Setting the Stage, on Tuesday, 2 May at 10:00am EDT/19:00 CEST, co-hosted by University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business, Wits Business School, and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

More information can be found here


Thesis on Governance of Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Research Visit of Simon Pfluger (TUM Masters Student) to the KNUST SEED Center

Regulations and political support are critical to accelerating the deployment of mini-grids in Sub-Saharan Africa. By providing clear guidelines, and financial incentives, and creating an enabling environment, governments can attract private sector investment. An important tool to facilitate private investment in renewable energy projects is the carbon market, with the new Paris Agreement Article 6 mechanism. Whether existing mini-grids like the Yeboakrom Living Lab can further grow and attract third-party funding through such global climate finance mechanisms will be investigated in a Master’s Thesis by Simon Pfluger. 


Therefore, Professor Rexford Assasie Oppong, Scientific Director of the KNUST SEED Center, welcomed Simon in Kumasi in January 2023. Simon will stay at the KNUST SEED Center until May 2023, where he will be collecting data for his Master’s Thesis, and also taking courses in Renewable Energy Technologies (Masters) at KNUST. 


After a first kick-off meeting in January, Professor Assasie Oppong took Simon to the KNUST SEED Center living lab on 4th February 2023 to enable Simon primarily experience how the 600 people-community of Yeboakrom benefits from the mini(off)-grid. The mini(off)-grid has been providing electricity to the Yeboahkrom community since December 2021. 


The living lab is supporting the Technical University of Munich (TUM) led Sustainable Energies and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) project where a 2 km stretch of Forty plus (40+) poles mini(off)-grid of 20 KVA solar PV array, 15 KWH battery storage and 30 kW hybrid inverter for rural electrification had been constructed and installed for teaching, conducting research and academic exchanges in entrepreneurship, renewal energy systems, climate change actions, agricultural practices, eco-architecture/design, green building and construction, capacity building and financial management skills for rural development, to reduce poverty in the global south and to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 


During their visit and in a third personal meeting on 2nd March 2023, Professor Rexford and Simon intensified their academic exchange of ideas about the future of the KNUST SEED Center. Simon aims to contribute his thesis to the future development of the Yeboakrom living lab to enhance academic exchanges. He will assess options such as an extension of the current grid to adjacent rural communities or providing electrical cookstoves to the local community by investigating whether third-party funding could be mobilized through the Paris Agreement Art. 6 mechanisms for such activities within the mini-grid governance framework of Ghana. 


The KNUST SEED Center has plans for Professor Rexford and Simon to engage with the Energy Commission of Ghana to further investigate Ghana’s mini-grid regulatory framework. 



Join The Africa Business Concept Challenge

 GBSN is very excited to announce its third year hosting the Africa Business Concept Challeng (ABCC).  ABCC intends to assist young people from the African continent who have an entrepreneurial orientation and a desire to serve their community.Student teams engage in a four-phased project development process where their business concepts are put up for sale on a virtual stock market on the Peaqs  platform,  a web-based learning game platform that combines a project development process with a virtual stock market engine for real-time valuation and peer feedback.

Registration is now open for student teams of 2-5 participants.
The winning ream will receive a $5,000 USD scholarship prize.

GBSN welcomes undergraduate and graduate African students from any African (or African-affiliated) university.  Student teams do not have to study business, but teams are required to have:

  *   2 or more currently enrolled students at the African or African-affiliated university
  *    A relevant mentor, whether that person is a professor or entrepreneurial practitioner
  *   Email addresses for each of the team members

Student teams can be mixed from different universities and backgrounds, and any sustainable business idea is welcome.

More information here


Invitation to Summer School “Enabling the Transition to a New Energy System”

We cordially invite  doctoral candidates to the 2nd Summer School of Linde Engineering in cooperation with the Munich Institute of Integrated Materials, Energy and Process Engineering at TUM and Hochschule München entitled Enabling the Transition to a New Energy System.

With climate change becoming an increasing challenge, use of alternative sources of energy and adjustments in industrial processes are gaining substantial relevance. Approaches to limit and reduce CO2 emissions as well as to utilize CO2 as feedstock have hence shifted into our focus. The energy sector and industry globally intensify their strive for innovative approaches for sustainable and environmentally friendly energy generation and industrial processes. The upcoming Summer School 2023 presents approaches and methods how to convert sustainability into reality.

 When:                  July 17 - 21, 2023 | 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Where:                 Linde Engineering in Pullach (Munich)

Language:           English

 Participation is free of charge for doctoral candidates.

Please send your application including your statement of purpose, degree certificate and a letter of recommendation to

Application deadline: March 15, 2023, notification date: April 30, 2023

New Doctoral Researchers Onboard the SEED Journey: JKUAT & NUST Students Selected

During the 2022 SEED Annual Symposium at IIT Bombay, the TUM SEED Center director, Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz, granted two Ph.D. Scholarships relating “SEED Entrepreneurship in the Global South” to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The two selected Universities went through a highly competitive and rigorous selection process, the CV of the proposed Ph.D. Candidate supervisors as well as the content of the research proposals were evaluated by three independent Entrepreneurship Scholars at the Technical University of Munich and the final decision was taken by the TUM SEED Selection Commission. 


The best proposals were submitted by the JKUAT Supervisory Team led by Prof. Florence Memba (Entrepreneurial Finance), Dr. Anaya W. Senelwa (Entrepreneurship), and Dr. Allan Mugambi (Humanities); and by the NUST Supervisory Team led by Prof. Dr. Sulaiman Olusegun Atiku (Human Resources) and Dr. Asa Romeo Asa (Entrepreneurship). The awarded proposal relates to “Informal Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in Kenya” and “Informal Entrepreneurship for Societal Impact: A Focus on Semi-urban and Rural Communities in Namibia”, respectively. The selected supervisors will now engage in the process of announcing the Ph.D. position at their Universities and selecting a doctoral student, who will work on the proposed research topics starting from the beginning of 2023. The selection process will be rigorous, and transparent and enhance gender equality and diversity. 


At the beginning of 2023, two new SEED Ph.D. Students based in the Global South will join the SEED Center, and they will be granted full of opportunities to travel to Germany and to the living labs, to attend Ph.D. seminars as well as to participate in leading conferences all over the world. We look forward to enlarging our SEED team, and strengthening our collaboration and academic exchange at the intersection of sustainable energies, entrepreneurship, and development!

SEED Center Annual Steering Committee Meeting at IITB, Bombay, India

On 25.11.2022 the steering committee (project coordinators and scientific directors) held a two-hour meeting to conclude the annual symposium 2022 at IITB in Mumbai, India. At the beginning of the meeting, Prof. Frank-Martin Belz thanked the IITB team for their outstanding organization and hosting of the annual symposium 2022 at their institution. Afterward, the meeting proceeded by resuming the annual symposium 2022 and planning the upcoming symposium in 2023, which will be held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana from 04.-8.09.2023. The structure of the 2023 symposium will be similar to the 2022 symposium, additionally containing professional development workshops on sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainable energies. Moreover, organizational matters regarding the reimbursement of expenditures for the symposium 2022 and the reporting of Key Performance Indicators were discussed.

In his presentation, Prof. Belz specifically emphasized the expansion of academic exchange between the partner universities. Therefore, workshops focusing on south-south cooperation are planned for 2023, to enhance academic exchange between the partner universities in the global south. Furthermore, in cooperation with Esther Salvi, Prof. Belz wants to gather data from villagers profiting from the living lab, in order to research what impact the provision of energy has on their entrepreneurial endeavors. The coming months will show, which living labs will be chosen for study.

However, while academic exchange related to research should be enhanced, Prof. Belz also stressed the importance to ameliorate the exchange in regard to teaching. Therefore, two Ph.D. candidates from the TUM SEED Center are going to offer seminars. The first seminar will be held by Prashant Pant on the topic of “Design and Modelling Mini-Grids”. The seminar will be held online and will be available for students at partner universities at the bachelor and master's levels. Dhirendra Mishra wants to offer a seminar on “Frugal Innovation” for which ten mobility grants will be made available for interested and committed students from partner universities. To enhance academic exchange on a student level the TUM SEED Center wants to support the establishment of student organizations at the partner universities, focusing on the topics of sustainable energies and energy provision in their countries.

Lastly, Prof. Belz introduced Lara Knödler as the new TUM SEED Center project coordinator. With Lara taking over the role as project coordinator all communication should be directed towards her ( and will then be discussed bilaterally with Prof. Belz.  Lastly, the meeting ended by announcing the upcoming meeting of the steering committee, which will be held on 20.01.2023.

Academic Exchange with Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST): Visit by Prof. Frank-Martin Belz

At the beginning of October 2022 the Director of the TUM SEED Center, Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz, visited the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to engage in academic exchange. On the first day, he was welcomed by Dr. Colin Stanley, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Partnerships. The meeting took place on the top floor of the High Tech Transfer Plaza Select (HTTPS), which represents a state-of-the-art technologically inspired ecosystem for the university community, industries, development partners, and entrepreneurs, ranging from mobile technologies to sustainable energies.


After the meeting with the NUST management, who emphasized the importance of academic exchange on an international level and community engagement on a local level (see “Visit the Living Lab in Kharoxas/Namibia), Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz gave a talk on “Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Energy Sector” for the faculty of engineering and the built environment. He was invited by his host Prof. James Katende, chair of renewable energy systems at NUST and Director of SEED Namibia. The discussion revolved around the business model for mini-grids, equipped with solar power, batteries, and smart meters, in the rural areas of the Global South, more specifically Africa. The recent study by the Africa Mini-Grid Developer Association (AMDA) provides empirical evidence in this respect and highlights the opportunities as well as the challenges in this upcoming sector, which is estimated at 220 billion US$ investment by the World Bank.


In the following days, Prof. Frank-Martin Belz had further, in-depth conversations with Prof. Asa Romeo Asa and his colleagues from the management department to explore opportunities for research and teaching at the intersection of sustainable energies and entrepreneurship in the Global South. One of the highlights was the talk for the Faculty of Management Sciences on “How to Publish in Leading International Journals”, which was well attended and received. Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz emphasized partnerships on eye level: While local researchers from NUST may provide access to unique and yet challenging environments (e.g. the living lab in Kharoxas or the suburban areas of Windhoek, where informal entrepreneurship prevails), and collect empirical data in close collaboration, TUM scholars may help to analyze and prepare the data for an international audience. The ultimate aim of this type of academic exchange, funded by DAAD, is joint publications in leading international management journals, more specifically entrepreneurship (e.g. Journal of Business Venturing).


On October 14, 2022, Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz attended the first international research conference on “Green Hydrogen for a Green Economy”, which was organized by NUST in collaboration with the University of Namibia. Due to high solar radiation, vast land resources, and access to international harbors, Namibia is well-positioned to become a global champion in “green” hydrogen, which is produced with wind and solar power. The European Union and the German government endorse this endeavor at the intersection of sustainable energies, entrepreneurship, and development in the Global South. In the next couple of years, Namibia will set up a number of large wind and solar plants to produce green hydrogen. It is an interesting example of industry emergence and new venture creation in the context of sustainable development, which calls for further investigation.

Feels & Thoughts on Visiting Kharoxas! Living Lab in Namibia by Prof. Frank Martin-Belz

When we left the national road and crossed the dry river bed with the four-wheel jeeps, policemen welcomed us behind the iron bridge. My mind started spinning: Did they want to control us? Did we do anything wrong? Or is it so dangerous to go to the outskirt of Windhoek and visit the community of Kharoxas? Soon I would find it out. We just stopped beside them in the shade of a tree and waited for the traditional leader of the region, her Majesty, Goas Juliane Gawa!Nas. About ten minutes later she arrived with four cars, including two police cars, the representative of the city of Windhoek, and a couple of advisors. After a short welcome and briefing, we continued our journey in the rough terrain of sand and stones. The police cars were at the beginning and the end of the large conveyance with flashing lights. I felt like a statesman on a mission.


After some time we arrived at a gate. We were welcomed by two young men elegantly riding horses without a saddle. They were the harbingers of the village. When we exited the car, we were welcomed with traditional dances and wonderful music performed by the villagers of Kharoxas. You could sense the good vibes in the air. It was the opening ceremony of the new power plant, equipped with the latest technology, 50 solar panels, and batteries to store the power of the sun. Prof. James Katende, who designed the living lab with his engineering students from NUST, predicted a bright future for the community and economic development when the distribution poles and cables are installed. I highlighted that the TUM SEED Center is an international endeavor with eight leading technical universities from the Global South, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service 2020-2024. The goals of the living labs are twofold: First and foremost, they provide “power to empower the community”. Second, the mini-grid facilitates academic exchange at the intersection of sustainable energies and entrepreneurship in the Global South. The traditional leader Goas Juliane Gawa!Nas from the Khomanian community said that the power plant gives “the youth an opportunity to learn”. Power, light, and education enhance the quality of life. Finally, I expressed the hope that one day one of the young villagers will study at NUST and visit the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany as part of the international exchange program.  


The opening ceremony of the solar plant was newsworthy and presented in prime time on NBC news, the largest telecommunication company in Namibia with national coverage.



Story by Prof. Frank-Martin Belz.


Watch this video for the story coverage on Namibian National TV.



A Project Study on Rural Electrification & Entrepreneurship in Kyampisi: Impressions from Our Master Students on The Ground

One billion people worldwide lack access to electricity - remote and isolated regions are especially affected by this. For this reason, our TUM master students Ekaterina Braun and Anna-Sophie Kreipp decided to conduct their project study in Rural Uganda. As part of an academic exchange program, they spent four weeks there to investigate how rural electrification influences entrepreneurial activities in the remote village of Kyampisi. This is where TUM SEED Center has constructed a solar mini-grid, which will be put into operation soon.


"First, we spent five days in the capital Kampala, where we met our four team colleagues from Makerere University. Together we traveled to Kyampisi in the central region of Uganda.


That is where we started the fieldwork: we surveyed households to capture the current state of electrification and entrepreneurial activity but also dreams about future businesses in the village. Kyampisi is not connected to the national grid. Some households have very limited access to electricity through solar panels while others have no possibility of using electricity at all. During our interviews, we met motivated people who are currently unable to realize their entrepreneurial ideas and goals due to the very restricted access to power.

Still, the work was very enlightening because we got to talk to different people every day and got insights into their lives. It was interesting to learn how creative some people are and what businesses they have already started: For example, we met somebody who operates a cinema in the village. Especially people who have no power at home can come here to watch movies or even soccer (in particular the Champions League games are very popular).

We also talked to a man who is the only one in the village who has a computer and speakers. During the wedding season, he is often booked as a DJ. If he had more access to electricity, he would also like to open a nightclub in Kyampisi.


The people in the village are eagerly awaiting more electricity and accordingly have high expectations for the living lab constructed by TUM SEED Center: the sustainable energy and entrepreneurship eco-system initiative focuses on using two renewable energies, solar and biogas as drivers for entrepreneurship activities.


Even though we saw extreme poverty, the time in the village was inspiring and insightful.

The people were very interested in our research project and welcomed us hospitably. Especially the children were excited about our visit and waved all the time when they saw us. We laughed a lot and had a lot of fun, although the hot weather and the language barrier were a challenge.

We also had the opportunity to eat local food. Uganda has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. In the village most people are farmers. Therefore, we had the opportunity to enjoy fresh fruit like pineapples, passion fruits, and jackfruits directly from the tree. We also had a lot of chapatis (a flatbread that is popular street food in East Africa).


In addition, the place where we worked is very well located. For example, we could visit a Rhino Sanctuary (the only place in the country, where one can observe the endangered Southern White-Rhinos in the wild) and experience more of the country.


The project not only offered us the possibility to go abroad and work with other international students. It was also a great way to get experience in the field and learn how to work as a researcher. You can put into practice everything you have learned theoretically at university."


Ekaterina Braun & Anna-Sophie Kreipp


Welcoming New Members to Our SEED Researchers' Team

Our core research team at the TUM SEED Center is getting larger! We welcome three new researchers from our partner universities, JKUAT and Makerere, in Kenya and Uganda.

Dr. Sendawula Kasimu is a postdoctoral fellow at the TUM SEED Center with a Ph.D. in management from Makerere University. He is currently a lecturer at Makerere University, College of Business and Management Sciences, School of Business, Department of Marketing and Management. His research interests include sustainable entrepreneurship and rural entrepreneurship.

Najjinda Shamirah is a Ph.D. student at Makerere University under the TUM SEED Center scholarship. She is currently an Assistant lecturer at Kyambogo University, School of Vocational Studies. Her study is about Women's Entrepreneurship in the rural context of the Global South.

Harold Mate is a Ph.D. Entrepreneurship candidate at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Harold holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and a Master of Science in Agribusiness Management from Kenyatta University. His Ph.D. research is titled “Fostering Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Phenomenon - Scaling In, Scaling Out, and Scaling Up, Scaling Deep; Strategies for Social Innovation in Kenya - Renewable Energy Context.

We wish a great start and a wonderful research journey to our new team members!

Mohammed Bendaanane, SEED Doctoral Researcher, at the Paper Development Workshop of the Academy of Management at The University of Warsaw, Poland

Back in July, Mohammed, SEED doctoral candidate, took part in the Paper Development Workshop organized by the Academy of Management at the University of Warsaw, in Warsaw, Poland. 


With two preliminary paper ideas, the first “Entrepreneurial Opportunities and the Role of Intention in the Emergence of New Organizations” submitted for the Academy of Management Review and the second “Plot twist - The Dark side of Entrepreneurship in Worsening Economic Inequality” submitted for the Academy of Management Discoveries, Mohammed had the chance to get feedback on the paper ideas by members of the editorial teams at AMR and AMD, as well as from fellow scholars and researchers in roundtable discussions.  

According to the Academy of Management, “Paper Development Workshops are designed to provide authors with guidance and expertise in the development of their manuscripts for potential submission to an Academy journal.

The workshops are open to all Academy members, as well as non-members. If you are a researcher in Management and would be interested in publishing in an AOM journal, consider joining the Paper Development Workshops. You can learn more about them and check upcoming dates by clicking here.

SEED Doctoral Researcher, Bouchra Lamhamedi, Takes Part in The ‘Land Governance for Development’ Summer School in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Bouchra Lamhamedi, a SEED doctoral researcher, had the opportunity to participate in the ‘Land Governance for Development’ Summer School in Utrecht, the Netherlands, organized by LANDac-the Netherlands Land Academy- and Utrecht University, from 4 to 15 July 2022.

This summer school provides a general overview of important themes such as the global land rush, land governance, and climate change, land access and gender issues, and land conflicts. The lecturers presented different case studies from the Global South, for example, India, Indonesia, West Africa, Pacific Islands, etc., and debated how land governance may contribute to sustainable and inclusive development.

MSc students, Ph.D. students, and professionals from development organizations in different countries and with different backgrounds shared knowledge on new land pressure issues and how to place these in broader theoretical contexts and policy debates from the local to the international level. These topics were discussed in interactive lectures, as well as within group assignments.

"Overall, it was a very beneficial experience for me, as I had the chance to learn more on land issues in the Global South and discuss my research topic with other land professionals", Bouchra shared.




TUM Professor Walter T. de Vries Visits SEED Partners at ITB Indonesia

Continuing our series of academic exchanges between the TUM SEED Center and the partner universities, Prof. Walter T. de Vries, Chair of Land Management at TUM School of Engineering & Design,  paid a visit to our partners at the Institute Teknologi Bandung, in Indonesia, to meet our local team and learn more about the local SEED Living Lab.

Prof. de Vries had a tour at the Living Lab in Garut-Indonesia together with Prof. Dr. Ir. Suwarno, Dr. Fathin Saifur Rahman, Prof. Wawan Dwanto, and. rer. pol. Achmad Fajar Hendarman. The Living Lab comprises an energy infrastructure with an energy source of 14.76 Kwp Photovoltaic and 21.6 kWh VRLA battery, an inverter and monitoring system, a thriving hydroponic system, and a water purification installation. 

Following the visits came general conversations and discussions around future business directions offered by the LL, social empowerment programs, and local and international students’ involvement in the Living Lab activities. 

An Exploration of the Land–(Renewable) Energy Nexus: A New SEED Scientific Publication by Doctoral Researcher Bouchra Lamhamedi

Congratulations to TUM SEED Center doctoral research, Bouchra Lamhamedi and co-author, prof. De Vries, for their publication "An Exploration of The Land-(Renewable) Energy Nexus" in the. journal "Land". 

Their study critically reviews the land–energy nexus with the aim to understand and explain how the uptake of renewable energy is shaping the land–energy nexus and how renewable energy technologies are evolving and interacting in different regions of the world, particularly in the Global South.


You can access the full article here.

Call for Applications: Master Thesis or Project Study | Does Access to Electricity Matter? A Field Study on Entrepreneurial Activities in Rural Peru


At least a moderate level of Spanish is required for applying and work on this project.

Your responsibilities

This Master Thesis/Project Study will be conducted at the Chair of Corporate Sustainability under the TUM SEED Center research focus. It will be conducted in tandem with two fellow students from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP). Your responsibilities are:

  • Conduct the Master Thesis/Project Study from October 1, 2022, to March 30, 2023;

  • Engage with the literature on entrepreneurship, and rural electrification;

  • Collect readily available data and be willing to travel to Cusco (Peru);

  • Engage in discussions and data collection with the students and scholars at our partner

    university (PUCP).

    Perks and advantages

    Master thesis/Project study, teamwork, international experience, exciting topic? - Yes, you tick all the boxes!

    Other perks include:
    Mobility Grant: fully-funded research trip to Cusco, Peru, and stay at PUCP;
    International experience at one of the leading South American universities;
    Develop your interpersonal and team works skills;
    Develop your critical thinking and analytical abilities through rigorous research; Life-changing experience discovering a new country and having lots of fun.

    How to Apply?

    Sounds interesting? Drop us an e-mail your CV, Transcripts, and a short Letter of Motivation by July 29, 2022, to Esther Salvi:


Exchanges, Training, and Hands-on Workshops: Pablo, TUM SEED Doctoral Researcher, and prof. Disse at Olderkesi Living Lab in Kenya

The research partnership and collaboration between the TUM SEED Center and its partner universities continue to evolve as many TUM members make their first field research trips to our living labs, around the Global South. This past month, Pablo Sarmiento, SEED doctoral researcher at the TUM’s School of Engineering and Design, and his supervisor prof. Markus Disse visited our Living Lab, in rural Olderkesi, Narok-Kenya.


The Living Lab already has solar panels installed and running, giving the community access to energy and to entrepreneurial opportunities that come with it. But beyond energy supply, Pablo shared with members of the community some knowledge gathered through his research, via two hands-on pieces of training: The first concerned with techniques for a more efficient soil and water management for agriculture production and soil conservation, and the second with the effective treatment and storage of water to avoid water-borne diseases.

In addition to the direct benefits for the communities, the Living Labs constitute an instrumental research ground for scientists and experts, and a real-life setting for knowledge dissemination and valorization. 



Michelle in Peru: A Visit to our PUCP Partners & Living Lab in Cusco

In December 2021, Michelle Zombory, project coordinator at our TUM SEED Center, visited our SEED team in Peru, Lima at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. After a visit to the campus and a meeting with professor Eduardo Ismodes, scientific director of PUCP SEED Center, Michelle t, together with Sandra Vergara, local SEED coordinator, and Adriana Lombardi, project assistant, headed to Cusco, where our living lab is located. 

On the ground, they met local producers associations and NGOs and conducted interviews, as well as workshops to understand the needs of the local community, and capture areas of potential collaboration. These include, for example, a possible location for the implementation of renewable energy systems, to help boost local production of goods and entrepreneurial activities. 

One instance of local production requiring renewable energy is the solar drying process of fruits, directed for commercialization. Michelle, together with Sandra and Adrianna, could enjoy a hands-on experience with local experts from the "Association of agricultural and agro-industrial producers of Huayopata", on solar drying.

The LIVING LAB HUYRO located in the Huayopata Valley, La Convention province, Cusco is a physical space that promotes the creation of an innovation ecosystem for sustainable development using renewable energies. A unique place in the world, with multiple ecological levels, vast biodiversity, and only hours from Machupicchu.

The project began in July 2020 with a diagnosis of energy needs in the area. Subsequently, different technologies have been implemented such as solar dryers, biodigesters, photovoltaic systems, hydraulic wheels, among others; for active members of the community to develop enterprises focused on productive uses at the community level. 

Learn more about the project on our partners’ website here.

Living Labs' Cooperation : Dhirendra, TUM SEED Researcher, in Western India

A fundamental focus of our SEED program is research collaboration with living labs. Our doctoral researchers, together with our partners, both contribute to and employ our existing living labs to advance their research topics. 

Dhirendra Mishra, our doctoral candidate specialised in frugal innovation and additive technology had the opportunity to visit Vigyan Ashram, a 30 years old living lab, operating in the village of Pabel, in Western India, together with our IITB (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) SEED’s scientific director, prof. Rangan Banergee and the project coordinator, Danish and Kumal.

Years after its establishment, the living lab expanded its core activities to education through small projected, implemented with local schools. All the projects directly cater to teh needs of local residents and include the development of electric Rikchas (airy three wheeler vehicles popular in India), biogas facilities, drip irrigation experiments, water conservation initiatives and the maintenance of a FABLAB (Fabrication Lab), with 3D printers and laser cutter machinery for creating and testing small-scale prototypes.

Our doctoral researchers will be visiting and working with different living labs and innovation institutes as part of the SEED research program and will be traveling to various countries in the Global South for collaborative work. 

Stakeholders' Engagement: The KNUST SEED Team Meeting the Yeboakrom Local Community

The KNUST SEED team in Ghana kicked off their local Living Lab implementation with a stakeholders' involvement workshop, where the community was formally introduced to the SSED project.

Stakeholders were drawn from the Municipal Assembly, Local Business Operators, Agro Industry Players, Traditional council, Electricity Company and other institutions. The Living Labs concept was formally presented to the stakeholders by the Coordinators. This was followed by discussion and inputs by the stakeholder groups towards the successful implementation and sustainability of the Living Labs.

The people of Juaben Municipality and Yeboakrom and all other users and stakeholders are engaged in a co-creation process to explore constructive and innovative ideas to establish a solar mini-grid that will serve as a catalyst for circular community development using Agro-Tourism as a fulcrum of decentralised Energy-Water-Food nexus.

The project is expected to create and upgrade 20 small scale to medium local enterprises and create up to 1000 jobs to the community members. 

Watch this video to learn more about the project and the community.

20KW Solar Power Plant For !KHAROXAS Community in Namibia

In early August 2021, NUST staff commissioned a 20-kilowatt power plant as part of the Sustainable Energies, Entrepreneurship and Development (SEED) Project Solar Living Lab. The power plant is located in !Kharoxas, about 60KM outside of Windhoek and will benefit the members of the !Khomanin San community. The NUST representatives included Prof James Katende, Professor of Renewable Energy Systems in the Faculty of Engineering, Ms Helvi Ileka, Acting Director of the Namibia Energy Institute, and postgraduate students. Representatives from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Namibia Engineering Corporation (NEC), the !Khomanin Traditional Authority, NamPol and several media outlets attended the commissioning.

Funded by the DAAD until 2024 and implemented in partnership with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany, the Living Lab will serve as a lighthouse project for the next two decades for teaching and research related to energy transition, rural electrification, and the entrepreneurial productive use of electricity. The Living Lab’s 20-killowatt solar panel was designed and specified by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (DECE) team and installed by NEC.

Learn more by visiting the NUST's original article here.

Kenya: The SEED center at JKUAT Breaks Ground for Mini-Grid Installation in Olderkesi

After several months of consultations and co-creation with the Olderkesi community members, Narok County government and other stakeholders, the Sustainable Energies, Entrepreneurship and Development (SEED) Project has finally broken ground. 

This gives a green light for the installation of a 12 Kwp mini-grid plant, that will see the community members, who are otherwise currently off-grid, access to renewable energy and consequently entrepreneurial opportunities. The ground-breaking event commenced with the transfer of various mini-grid technologies and equipment from the University Main Campus in Juja, to Olderkesi Trading Centre in Narok West Constituency.

Read more on our partners' website here.

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Are you interested in joining an interdisciplinary program and taking part on an impactful journey around circular systems? Then Apply until May 20th for the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School, offered by the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie!

The Social Entrepreneurship Akademie is looking for top students from all over the world for the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS)! In the virtual 5-day program, they will accompany 50 selected students from different disciplines on their very personal "Impact Journey". Together, they develop innovative solutions in the field of "circular systems" and use entrepreneurial resources to help master climate change. The virtual and global program will take place from September 7th to September 11th, 2021. APPLY NOW! 

Watch this video and learn more about the program!

10 August 2020

Conducting field research in methodologically challenging settings virtual workshop

An opportunity for researchers to reflect on their data gathering and analysis practices. 

Over the past two decades the interest of management research toward developing countries and other challenging low-income settings has proliferated. The methodological foundations of management research however originate from developed countries, and arguably have limited relevance in underdeveloped regions. In such contexts, significant methodological difficulties related to data collection and analysis may rise from, for example, language and cultural barriers, questionnaire interpretation, unreliable statistical data, corruption and lack of freedom of speech. In practice, the work of a researcher is challenging due to safety issues, gaining access to interesting cases and the necessity of working with gatekeeper organizations.

On October 1-2, 2020 will take place an online workshop on conducting field research in methodologically challenging settings. The workshop will explore the methodological constraints common in impoverished regions, which are typically ignored, trivialized, misrepresented or deemed methodologically weak by mainstream management journals. The theme of this workshop is to develop rigorous methodologies in challenging settings for publication in leading journals. It will be a half day workshop on both days to accommodate for the different time zones the best way possible. The workshop will include keynote presentations from journal editors, round tables on methodological issues and paper development working sessions. The keynote speakers are Professor Charla Griffy-Brown (Editor-in-Chief, Technology in Society), Professor Wim Vanhaverbeke (Co-Editor-in-Chief, Technovation) and Professor Pablo Munoz, (Associate Editor, Journal of Business Venturing Insights). Participants can join as authors of a paper or as regular attendees. You can find more information here. The registration is open until August 20, 2020 here

23 June 2020

A Partnership for Innovation and Sustainable Development: KNUST and TUM together in scientific, technological, and entrepreneurial excellence

Picture: TUM – KNUST partnership brochure

Together with other nine projects, the SEED Center is featured in the new partnership brochure of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The wide range of collaborative projects are specially future-oriented in the areas of water and energy research, environment, mobility and global health. You can find the latest version of the brochure here.

09 APR 2020

Research Publication: Economic Development of Rural Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa through Decentralized Energy-Water-Food Systems

Picture: NEXUS The Water, Energy & Food Security Resource Platform

In the recently published book “Regional development in Africa” you can discover a chapter about our idea of the 4th generation of mini-grids written by our Master Programs Coordinator Johannes Winklmaier. And now an executive summary can be found on the Nexus Homepage.

The Nexus platform is a GIZ's nexus resource platform dedicated to the topic of Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus and co-financed by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation.