The Nairobi industrial and technology park project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Industrialization. The aim of the project is enhance uptake of research results by industry players.
Industrial and Technology parks are key elements of the infrastructure supporting the growth of today’s global knowledge economy. By providing a location in which government, private sector and universities cooperate parks create environments that foster collaboration and innovation. They enhance the development transfer and commercialization of technology. The world’s 1st science Park started in the 1950s and created what is known today as the Silicon Valley. These parks are now found all over the world, mostly in developed countries. Brazil is one of the developing countries which has encouraged establishment of industrial parks for budding small hi-tech companies. For example, in the 1940s and 1950s the Brazilian government implemented a series of investments in training research and development which created a strong local network of academic excellence to attract the best talent in order to design and manufacture commercial and military aircrafts and to build technical expertise in the sector. This eventually led to the creation of Embraer which is the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.
According to Kenya’s Vision 2030, the manufacturing sector is expected to play a critical role in propelling the economy to a 10% growth by the year 2012. Evidence from other countries shows that for a country to fast-track the growth of its economy it must invest in the growth of its manufacturing sector. It also indicates that knowledge-driven Industrial Parks play a pivotal role in creating a framework for vertical growth of small firms. The Embraer case in Sao-Paulo shows the importance of combining initial infant industrial policies with a strong network of local academic institutions of national excellence that were mobilized for continuous capacity building and applied research. The Industrial Park will provide such an important link between the university and industry on one hand and small manufacturing enterprises with large firms on the other.