Chief Representative of JICA Kenya Office Mr. Hideo Eguchi has hailed the Innovation and Prototyping Integrated Centre (iPIC) that is set to be established at JKUAT as a “tangible symbolic outcome for strengthening the bond between Japan, Kenya and African countries.”
Mr. Eguchi was speaking at JKUAT, Wednesday, March 11, during the contract signing ceremony between the University and Mellech Engineering & Construction Ltd, for the construction of the Innovation and Prototyping Centre which is set to stimulate and strengthen Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa through JKUAT and Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
Mr. Eguchi further acknowledged JKUAT for granting Japan “an opportunity to work with the institution continuously via Africa –ai– JAPAN project in addition to other existing projects namely; BRIGHT Project , In-country training project for rural women and the project supporting the MoU between Eritrean universities and JKUAT.”
During the function that was also witnessed by JKUAT Council Members: Amb. Steven Loyatum, Ms. Bertha Dena, Eng. John Tanui and Dr. Rose Muraguri (Vice Chair), and Ms. Fenny Mwakisha– a representative for the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Eguchi further appreciated the Africa –ai– JAPAN project experts for working tirelessly to achieve project targets. On her part, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga said, JKUAT is delighted especially with the renewed relations and the readiness of Japan to support JKUAT to deliver on its mandate.
“I am happy to see Japan come back to support JKUAT in our mandate as university of technology, with facilities and equipment,” observed Prof. Imbuga.
The Innovation and Prototyping Centre to be located at the Engineering Workshops Building, under the support of JICA, will facilitate innovation, development, prototyping and manufacturing, and will host modern state of the art facilities that will provide machinery and advanced prototyping platform for innovation, invention and education.
According to Prof. Tsunoda, “iPIC is designed to produce the next generation of scientists who can leverage on endogenous knowledge and wisdom to come up with sustainable solutions to problems afflicting the continent.”
The facility will also provide a stimulus for entrepreneurship, mentorship and scholarship driven with acquired knowledge, resources, and experiences. It will be equipped with a collection of flexible computer controlled tools and machinery for use in designing and fabricating technologically advanced products generally perceived as limited to mass production.
Africa –ai– JAPAN project was formalized mid-2014 following the agreement of the Government of Japan through JICA to be the lead thematic partner in the implementation of the African Union led Pan African University.