The enterprise of research and innovation, which is the defining characteristic of JKUAT has received considerable boost following the sealing of a collaboration that will see US based multinational, International Business Machines (IBM) work closely with JKUAT in training and research in the area of ICT. The agreement signed at the University, Friday February 1, 2013, by Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the vice chancellor and Mr. Mauricio Sucasas, IBM China based Director, ISV and Developer Relations, Growth Market Unit, will lead to the review of ICT curriculum to integrate new advances in ICT that IBM will make available to JKUAT faculty and students.
In his brief comments, Mr. Sucasas confirmed his company was a world leader in ICT that had a reputation for successful research that he said lead to commercial applications, products and services. It is such resources ‘including tools and technologies to aid training, research and innovation’ that he said his company would make available to JKUAT.
The official declared his company was working with numerous universities around the world in a similar projects that he said aimed at bridging the gap between ICT training and its application in industry. He said ICT was a fast changing sector with rapidly emerging technologies that required new skills.
On her part Prof. Imbuga welcomed the initiative saying it would enable JKUAT faculty and students to tap from the immense and emerging ICT advances that IBM was generating. The vice chancellor added that one of the immediate advantages of the joint collaboration is expected to benefit the ICT curriculum which she said was set for review to include current and emerging advances.
‘I am particularly impressed that the joint venture has targeted specific data base units taught in our programmes to tailor them for the dynamic market by injecting the required skills. New course elements to cover units in emerging areas including big data and business analytics that the Government will exploit in application of e-government, e-commerce, e-health and smart cities such as Konza Tech City are to be brought on board under the MoU’ she noted.
Already twelve members of staff drawn from two JKUAT Departments of ICT and Institute of Computer Science and Information Technology have embarked on an eight-week intensive capacity training programme to prepare them as trainers for the project.
The ceremony was also addressed by Deputy vice chancellors, Prof. Esther Kahangi in charge of Research, Production and Extension and Prof. Francis Njeruh of Administration, Planning and Development.