Building infrastructure

Equipment donation

We collect fully functioning second hand equipments from universities all around the globe, and we distribute these equipments to African universities who request that type of equipment.

Why it is important?

Many researchers in Africa have ideas that could lead to life-changing discoveries. Many of these researchers attend to top-level international courses and lab exchanges in the USA or Europe and come back with knowledge on how to make them happen. However, they often face the hard reality that their home institution lacks the facilities required to carry out the necessary experiments. We aim at helping them by establishing top-level research facilities across the continent.

Why it is unique

Unlike other donation programmes our donations always come with how-to knowledge, and we keep track that the equipment donated is being put to good use.

Who do we target

Institutions with a strong motivation and that are willing and able to leverage our donations to actively promote scientific research and teaching on site.


As anyone who works in a Western lab will know, there is usually huge amount of unused but perfectly working equipment sitting on shelves or storage facilities, gathering dust. At the same time, the African university landscape is ever expanding, yet often chronically underfunded. Therefore,our distribution model is massively scalable, all we need is more and more volunteers pulling together to locate equipment and coordinate the shipments.

Would you like to donate equipment?

If you, your institution or company is able to provide any equipment towards this cause (Amplifiers, AD Boards, Microscopes, Cameras, Pipettes, Thermocyclers , Gel Chambers, Computers (esp. Laptops), Textbooks etc) please contact us

Building Infrastructure: We support the establishment of research facilities.


We help building infrastructure by donating equipment to labs across the continent through equipment grants and donations. We want to avoid sending equipment that will be left un-used due to lack of knowledge on how to use it, or lack of resources to maintain it. Therefore, we only send equipment to those places where we can send volunteers to organize an intensive course and teach local researchers how to make best use of the equipment. Alternatively, we also donate equipment to labs when our volunteers can assess first hand that the local knowledge is already in place.

We work with a “permanent loan” scheme, by which the equipment is formally owned by TReND in Africa, but it is given to African institutions as a “permanent loan”. This means that the material will stay at the original host institution unless we find a strong reason to retrieve it from there, such as misuse of the equipment by the host institution. In this way we ensure not only that the knowledge and infrastructure is in place for the correct use of the donated equipment, but also that it continues to be operational and in good shape for the years to come.

Our policy is that any of the facilities that TReND has helped to build need to be open for its use by any African researcher willing to do so. Our vision is to create hot-spots within the continent, in such a way that when a researcher in an African country wants to carry out some experiments the nearest facility to do so will be closer to them than traveling to the USA or Europe.


TReND at Maker Faire, Zurich

On September 17-18th, the Maker Faire was for the first time in Zürich. This Faire gathers makers of all walks of life which leads to a really interesting and exciting exchange of ideas and projects! We had a stand where we could discuss TReND's mission and our open...

The Equipment Team

Lukas von Tobel

Lukas von Tobel

TReND in Africa

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