Academia-Industry linkage is imperative for industries to build on a growing pool of academic talent that exists in institutions of higher learning in order to solve real-world challenges in an effective and efficient way. This is according to the Director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Dr. Helmut Blumbach.
“As we interact with academia and industry, it is paramount to identify areas of collaboration, coordination and mutual support between the two sectors for global sustainable development,” said Dr. Blumbach.
Dr. Blumbach was speaking during the opening ceremony of the Third Spring School at JKUAT where he assured the participants that DAAD will continue to contribute towards the development of higher education in Africa.
The week-long academic interaction ending February 23, 2018 brings together over 25 students and staff from JKUAT, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Institute of Technology and Management in Cameroon, and for the first time, three students from Mekelle University in Ethiopia.
The Spring School will see participants engage in experiential learning workshops as well as excursions to leading business, telecommunications and manufacturing firms in Kenya.
Prof. Thomas Schmidt, Director of the Centre for Business and Technology in Africa, Flensburg University, was impressed with the growth of the Spring School programme since its inception and stated that over the years, the programme has engaged over 250 students.
“Interacting with the alumni of the programme, I can confidently say that their learning experience has been remarkable and Africa is on the rise,” averred Prof. Schmidt.
In a speech read by the Principal, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. David Mulati, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga while commending DAAD for the financial support, appreciated the Industry-Academia aspect of the programme saying, “The active industry-university involvement in this project will help to move new discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace effectively and efficiently.”
The MoU and MoA signed between JKUAT and Flensburg University of Applied Sciences four years ago have been instrumental in cementing collaboration in research, training, innovation, technological development between the two institutions. Last year saw the launch of The Kenyan German Centre for Data Analytics (KGDA) to drive data sciences and business analytics in Africa. The Centre located at JKUAT Information Technology (IT) Department is expecting its first admission of students of Master of Science degree in Business Computing this semester.
The meeting was also addressed by Dean, School of Computing and Information Technology, Prof. Stephen Kimani, Dean School Mathematics and Statistics, Prof. George Orwa, Coordinator Namibia University of Science and Technology, Mr. Nkululeko Muthembo, Coordinator Institute of Technology and Management, Cameroon, Mr. Emmanuel Chimi, Coordinator JKUAT, Mr. Philip Oyier and Project Manager Center for Business and Technology in Africa, Flensburg University, Mr. Martin Kuhn.