Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) researchers have been urged to embrace inter-disciplinary team work to move innovations from the shelves to the market.
This was the message by Prof. Nick Wanjohi, a political science scholar, when he delivered a seminar on Innovations, Research, Development and Commercialization to researchers and innovators at the university on Wednesday November 6, 2018.
Prof Wanjohi who is also the University’s former Vice Chancellor, pointed out that innovations and commercialization of new products, jointly depended on every researcher’s input for the realization of meaningful innovations with market value.
“Scientific, engineering, technological and entrepreneurial fields cannot move their innovative ideas, products or services to the market without collaborations from their colleagues in other fields,” said Prof. Wanjohi.
In order to resolve the socio-economic and technological crisis facing Kenya, Prof. Wanjohi said, it was important to organize joint scientific, engineering, technological and entrepreneurial initiatives to ensure that research, development and commercialization are fully operational in order to push existing and emerging innovations to the market in huge volumes.
He recommended that the university should consider playing a leading role in creating teams to spearhead manufacturing of production and consumer goods for the local and export markets, saying it was key to eliminating the dependency of imported manufactured goods in the country.
Prof. Wanjohi further urged the researchers and innovators to promote other local innovations and products which he said will grow the local market.
“When you go to the market to buy shoes, we regard Italian shoes as the best products in the market. We should change this mindset and start supporting our products if we are to penetrate our local markets,” said Prof. Wanjohi.
He also challenged the researchers to borrow a leaf from China and improve on the quality of products and innovation after testing the market saying customer feedback is a better form of quality review for improvements.