JKUAT’s place as a leading regional technology and innovation institution has received synergistic impetus following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between JKUAT and iHub Research, Thursday, June 5, 2014.
While welcoming the partnership, the iHub Executive Director Mr. Josiah Mugambi, noted that both JKUAT and iHub have a focus on technology with JKUAT having produced numerous engineering and science graduates over the last 20 years it has been in existence in various sectors ranging from food science to telecommunications and agriculture.
The Director added that iHub is a pioneer space in Kenya that has spurred a revolution in the tech ecosystem across the African continent, since it came into being 4 years ago.
“iHub is nurturing the best innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem; one that constantly challenges and influences technology that can be replicated across the continent since African innovation will play a critical role in shaping future technology globally” averred Mr. Mugambi.
He noted that “iHub exists to catalyze the growth of the Kenyan tech community by developing and connecting people, supporting startups and by surfacing information.”
Mr. Mugambi, who was also accompanied by the iHub Research Fellow Albert Otieno, and Muuo Wambua, underscored the twin institutions’ commitment to develop people, research and innovation as well as entrepreneurship
“Africa’s problems will only be solved by African innovators, and this partnership will grow the number of innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs in the tech space, who have the necessary ability, ambitious, tenaciousness to seek solutions for the challenges that are faced across the developing world and beyond.
The iHub Research Manager Angela Okune noted that “as a beacon of innovation, iHub was enthusiastic to work with talented smart youths to incubate research and innovation ideas in Kenya and beyond”
Ms. Okune further said, she anticipated great innovative ideas to emerge from their partnership with JKUAT because the two have been engaging through the JKUAT Alumni at iHub who have always been a wonderful generation to work with and expressed hope that the knowledgeable pool at JKUAT combined with the diverse talent at iHub could bring forth wonderful innovative ideas.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga hailed the timeliness of the partnership which she noted, comes at a time when JKUAT is implementing the Government’s directive to institutions of higher learning to forge linkages with relevant industry.
The Vice Chancellor welcomed the collaboration with iHub which she said presented “a viable platform for the two entities to leverage on their collective strengths in terms of human resources and physical facilities.” She acknowledged the convenience provided by the MoU which she said, comes on a clean slate that affords both parties a rare opportunity to develop strong and effective institutions and innovations. To this end, the Vice Chancellor observed, she looked forward “to see the kind of impact the products will have on the region in terms of knowledge production.”
Prof. Imbuga added that JKUAT was eager to see how the innovation products that will be developed under the partnership could be mutually beneficial especially to academic staff in terms of their professional development, since staff promotions have for a long time laid emphasis on academic research papers.
As partners work to strengthen the collaboration, the Vice Chancellor urged both parties to explore and incorporate new and emerging areas of research and innovation projects, programmes, sharing of facilities and human resources, institutional capacity building, staff and students’ exchange and attachment, information exchange and dissemination, innovation and technology development, curriculum development and technology transfer.
JKUAT was also represented at the ceremony by among others, the Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Esther Kahangi and Prof. Romanus Odhiambo; Registrar APD Mr. Muchai Mbugua; Director SCIT Dr. Stephen Kimani, Chair, IT Mr. Philip Oyier, Acting Head of Linkages Dr. Kaibui Mwikamba.