Officials from Philips, the global technology company, Wednesday June 25, 2014 held talks with Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga on how the two institutions could work together to engineer innovative and locally relevant healthcare solutions. The team led by Philips’ Innovation Director for Africa, Dr. Maarten van Herpen was at JKUAT to explore possible partnership that could enable the electronics leader to successfully mount a regional innovations hub in Nairobi.
Dr. Maarten noted that Kenya was experiencing a vibrant innovations ecosystem, with a number of players produced by institutions like JKUAT. Drawing from that technological advantage, Dr. Maarten reckoned, Philips was ready to work with local innovators to roll out innovations that would enhance access and affordability of healthcare in the region.
“Philips hopes to impact 3 billion lives through meaningful community led innovations by the year 2025,” averred Maarten.
The Innovation Director noted his company’s healthcare division was keen to entrench healthy living among local population; through for instance increased exploitation and use of abundant solar energy for lighting in place of kerosene lamps.
Prof. Imbuga informed the visiting officials that JKUAT students and staff had demonstrated impactful innovations, noting, a number of them had been deployed to improve livelihoods in the country.
The Vice Chancellor made reference to Tech Expo, an annual platform where students from Kenya and beyond showcase their innovations in various fields to the industry. JKUAT, the Biochemistry don added continue to incubate leading innovations by students each year.
Prof. Imbuga however noted that a number of innovations remained un-incubated due to limited capacity, a situation that could be reversed through strategic partnerships with players like Philips.
“Besides our health training programmes, our university has a dynamic pool of creative and innovative students whose ideas can foster Philips initiatives in health and technology sector,” Imbuga said.
The Vice Chancellor added that JKUAT was setting up an Industrial and Technology hub where further partnerships with the industry will be possible. She pledged the University’s readiness to make the collaboration with the Netherlands headquartered technology giant successful.
The session was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Esther Kahangi, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo and Prof. Victoria Ngumi.