An agreement to foster mutually beneficial academia and industry cooperation, bringing together Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has been formalized. The partnership will see a number of KEBS officers undertake graduate training and research at the university with the former offering internship and industrial attachment for JKUAT students. In addition, the two institutions through the joint implementation committee will identify and mount research initiatives in thematic areas.
To kick start the collaboration, ten KEBS masters and doctorate analysts will undertake further training in JKUAT yearly for the next five years. Equal number of JKUAT graduate students will be interned at the national standards organization yearly, for the same period.
The collaboration will also make it possible for the parties to engage in institutional capacity building through joint staff training workshops and seminars; and technology transfer arising from joint research initiatives to the larger Kenyan population. Other areas of exchange include sharing of professional information, production of teaching materials and consultancy.
Speaking on behalf of KEBS Managing Director during the agreement signing ceremony at JKUAT, Thursday September 12, 2013, Director in charge of Metrology, Testing and Surveillance (MTS) Joel Kioko reiterated that it was time universities started collaborating with the standards body. This, he added, was the practice in other progressive nations like Brazil.
“We have forward technology referential laboratories that can be utilized by university researchers and students at KEBS,” noted Kioko.
The MTS Director further emphasized that the initiative, in meeting its objectives, will add value to the country through research and innovation; expressing commitment and readiness of his organization to actualize partnership.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga said that working with KEBS will foster JKUAT’s resolve to have all its laboratories internationally accredited as the university braces to launch training in Forensic Science.
Prof. Imbuga also welcomed experts from the standards body to the university as adjunct lectures, that she said would also allow them to share their insights with the rest of the varsity’s research community.
The partnership, the Vice Chancellor added, would equally “give impetus to JKUAT’s endeavour to meet international standardization thresholds particularly in environmental management systems”.
The university is the first in the country to embark on a greening and environmental conservation and management. To meet its objectives, JKUAT is currently employing plant biotechnology to generate indigenous trees of value and distributing to the neighbouring community.