The Food Technology and Business Incubation center is the first university based technology and business incubator in the East and Central African region. The center was commissioned by H.E President Y.K Museveni in 2009.The core business of FTBIC is technology transfer and nurturing knowledge based enterprises and food processing and nutrition fields. The center targets youths and other groups with technology and or business ideas of high commercial potential in the areas of food processing, nutrition and allied industries .The centers Program thrusts include.
- Nurturing new technology driven food and enterprises
- Promoting entrepreneurship among students and university staff.
- Offering technical support to the food industry.
- Technology transfer.
- Commissioned research
- Process and product development.
- Quality management and trouble shooting.
- Nutrition clinic.
- Nutrition education and out research.
The FTBIC was established at the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio engineering to develop new food value addition businesses based on research conducted at Makerere University and to support the University to produce job creators. With the financial support of 4.5bn UGX, from government through the Presidential Initiative for Value addition, the centre procured equipment including Mobile fruit processor to be utilized for collection and processing of fruit to juice concentrates in the communities and Twin screw extruder for processing of starchy staples to ready-to-use products.
The high value laboratory equipments at the centre, which are used to analyze the nutritive value and sensory properties of the value added products before they enter the market include: Infrared grain analyzer for moisture content, Fibretetc analyzer for rapid analysis of fiber content, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) for a range of quality tests, Gas Chromatography mass spectrometer (GCMS) and High performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for testing flavor compounds.
To boost meat and milk processing, meat processing and dairy lines have been procured. To support the centre community outreach activities and engagements, the centre has acquired a 30 seater mini bus, a Utility double cabin pickup and a Refrigerated truck to maintain a cold chain during distribution. The centre has also ordered for machinery for processing breakfast cereals like corn flakes and has acquired a mobile fruit and vegetable processing plant to facilitate processing of fruits from production areas.
The incubates (mostly fresh graduates) have access to processing facilities and are provided with technical support to boost their capacity in production, marketing and business management. This has led to the development of new food value addition enterprises. So far, eleven agro processing enterprises have been set up. They include, Dawn Industries, Smart Foods, Hamko, Choice Cuts Ltd, Samalina Beverages, Jordan Foods, House of Russa, Nutreal Ltd, and Food and Nutrition Solutions Ltd.
Products such as bottled pineapple juice cocktails, soya bean products, sausages, smoked meat, Omulondo liquor, canned Katunkuma, lemon grass flavored tea, nutrient dense cookies, amarathus products, canned maize and beans and health bars are in leading retail outlets in the country, contributing to import substitution.