Academia-industry linkages have, over the years, been recognized as the key enabler in promoting innovation ecosystem as they deliver far reaching and enduring socio-economic impact that cannot be achieved by working in silos.
It is for this reason that Bidco Africa, led by Bidco Africa Group Director, Chris Diaz, visited JKUAT, March 11, 2020, to explore collaboration initiatives in the area of agribusiness.
Mr. Diaz said, Bidco continuously renew their processes, structures, products, systems and partnerships to keep the organisation dynamic and was certain, JKUAT was the right partner as Bidco strives to be a leader in manufacturing and agribusiness in the region.
“As Bidco Africa plays her part in the attainment of the President’s Big Four agenda, we need researchers to come up with novel innovations to some of the challenges facing the company.” said Mr. Diaz.
The collaboration will see Bidco Africa and JKUAT interrogate the whole agricultural value chain and see where both organisations will leverage for mutual benefit.
“We are big on value addition across the agricultural value chain and we come to JKUAT in quest of joint research ventures in agribusiness to improve the livelihood of Kenyans,” opined the Group Director.
On her part, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi assured Bidco Africa team that they have come to the right place as JKUAT was ardent in enhancing productive collaborations between academia and industry, a critical requirement in improving the economy of any country.
“As a University, we are strong in the field of agriculture and we have been at the forefront in fostering a culture of interdisciplinary research and innovation among faculty and students,” Prof. Ngumi observed.
The Vice Chancellor however said, as much as the University is producing cutting edge innovations and research outputs, commercialisation of the outputs presents a challenge. She was confident that the collaboration with Bidco Africa will be vital in the commercialisation of some of JKUAT’s research outputs.
The collaboration will also respond to calls on institutions of higher learning to embrace industry yardsticks as the two organisations partner in curriculum development to keep up with an ever dynamic industry environment.
The partnership is expected to introduce students to entrepreneurship with soft skills training as graduates continue to face higher odds in landing job opportunities in a highly skilled dependent market.
Mr. Diaz was accompanied by Bidco Africa Head of Agribusiness, Mr. John Kariuki and Head of Brand PR, Mr. Willis Ojwang and were received by Prof. Ngumi, Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Mary Abukutsa, Prof. Robert Kinyua, and Prof. Jackson Kwanza among other University staff.