The National Industrial research and Development Agency (NIRDA) early last week launched the second phase for Cow in the Car value chain Open Calls competition.
The launch coincided with a half-day workshop bringing together 18 companies engaged in Cow in the Car Value chain, which were selected in the first phase of the Open Calls program and are set for entering the 2nd phase of the competition.
Companies and enterprises are competing to acquire upgraded equipment and related support on interest free loans and with no requirement of collateral. NIRDA is partnering with the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) to provide such support.
The overall objective of the support is to boost competitiveness and productivity in the Cow in the Car value chain, boosting Made in Rwanda program, reducing imported leather products, creating more decent and productive jobs among others.
During the workshop, 18 successful applicants were briefed on business diagnosis and detailed application by NIRDA experts.
Companies were also briefed on what documents are needed in the second phase, how to fill those documents and how the applicants can understand the application process.
Speaking at the launch, Claire Mukeshimana, NIRDA’s Acting Director General thanked participants who passed the first phase and urged them to take the second phase so seriously as it is a competition.
This is a second phase of the application and it should be taken seriously as it is a competition, whenever you are filling the documents try to be as detailed as you can so that you don’t miss the support just because you did not comply with the guidelines,” she told participants.
The Second phase of the open calls program in the cow in the car value chain was launched last week and the portal was opened on Monday 13th July 2020 and will remain open until 31st July to give more time to applicants to submit their detailed applications.
Cow in the Car is one of the value chains NIRDA is currently supporting given the value attached to the cow in Rwandan society. The cow is revered and prized.
Despite this importance, there is very limited processing of cow products as between 80%-90% of hides and skins are exported with limited processing.
Besides, many products are discarded without further processing. The “cow in the car” concept seeks to unlock the potential for innovation around the cow and cow by-products, especially within the leather, medicinal and creative arts sector.