Scholars, researchers and industry players from Africa, Asia and Europe Wednesday May 6, 2015 converged at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies for the Sixth edition of the JKUAT International Conference on Sustainable Research and Innovation (SRI). During the three day event, participants are slated to ventilate on how their activities contributes to sustainable exploitation and utilization of natural resources towards the realization of the millennium development goals.
Addressing the opening session, Centurion Systems’ Engineering Director, Dr. Kevit Desai noted that despite the existence of a number of innovations in Kenya, such research outputs are yet to have an impact to society due to the disconnect between the academia and industry.
Arguing that Kenya had an intrinsic innovative capacity mirrored by the diversity of its people, Dr. Desai challenged industry and academia to dialogue and create a vibrant innovations ecosystem in order to facilitate uptake of local innovations by the industry.
Desai who is also the chairperson of the Linking Industry with Academia (LIWA) initiative, also urged participants to leverage on the progressive research and innovation policy regimes to catalyse actualization of novel ideas characteristic of university quarters.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga reminded participants that the conference provided them an opportunity to engage in peer learning and articulate engineering solutions that could enable home countries to sustainably utilize natural resources.
While lamenting the influx of substandard imports to the country, Prof. Imbuga said it was time Kenyan researchers patented and up scaled their innovations to commercial viability. This, she said, would foster local production and manufacturing.
In her address, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi challenged participants to innovate in renewable energy areas to supplement the natural grid energy.
Additionally, Prof. Kahangi urged participants to proactively engage her division for research funding of viable concepts and ideas.
A total of 55 papers are set to be presented in the conference. Among the topics to be covered are: Climate change and pollution control; New and renewable energy solutions; Power transmission and utilization; Industrial processes performance and control; and Sustainable research strategies.
Keynote speakers lined up for the event include: Prof. Manabu Tsunoda, Africa – ai- Japan project; Prof. Hisataka Tanaka of Tottori University, Japan; Director, Water Research and Resource Centre, Prof. Bancy Mati; and Kenya Maritime Authority Director General, Nancy Karigithu.
This year’s conference has drawn participation from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, South Korea, Japan and Italy.