One of the biggest challenges facing innovators is overcoming the fear of failure. This is according to Darshan Chandaria, Director and Group CEO, Chandaria Group (Kenya), who was the chief guest during the Seventh edition of the JKUAT Tech Expo that opened at the JKUAT Main Campus, Thursday, November 3, 2016.
“Remove the shackles of fear, uncertainty, doubt and network with the great corporates gathered here today, make contacts, research more, and take the next step,” advised Mr. Chandaria
Mr. Chandaria appealed to the government, academia and private sector to initiate programs that are youth-centric geared toward empowering the youth to be job creators rather than job seekers, reckoning that this will enhance national efforts to provide tangible solutions to the challenges facing the country.
This year’s Tech Expo edition themed: ‘Changing Lives through Innovation’ has attracted over 30 inventions from students in 12 categories: Education, Renewable Energy, Agriculture, Food Security, Water Management, Security, Waste Management, Financial Inclusion, Communication, Health, Transport and Election.
Mr. Chandaria was delighted to note that, the annual JKUAT Tech Expo plays a vital role in ensuring that students do not just stand on the side-lines, but actively engineer solutions to problems facing humanity.
The young business leader prevailed on the innovators to be clear about where they want to go and remember that their innovation will not change lives until they take the next step and venture into the real world.
On her part, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, called on the young innovators to embrace more projects on the Agricultural sector. This, she acknowledged, would enhance the food security of the country and aid in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
With a decline in the number of female exhibitors showcasing this year, Prof Imbuga encouraged female students to take part in future exhibitions so as to promote empowerment of women in Science, Technology and Innovation.
“I have also noted with concern the dismal number of ladies participating in the Tech Expo 7.0. From about 70 participants involved in the expo only 12 are female,” decried the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Imbuga further said, the ultimate goal of the Expo is to come up with products and ideas that will change lives, adding that the University has established the Directorate of Intellectual Property Management and University-Industry Liaison (DIPUIL) to provide a channel through which companies, research organizations and government agencies can access the knowledge, expertise and technologies found in the University.
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Esther Kahangi, said Kenya cannot move towards achieving Vision 2030 and sustainable development without factoring in the input of academia.
She appealed to the Government and the private sector as a whole, to engage institutions of higher learning in collaborative research and initiatives so as to understand human needs in a bid to attain socio-economic development.
“I want to appeal to all our partners to walk with us side by side towards this noble course of developing the projects past the exhibition stage. Your complementary support towards incubating projects and developing them further will ensure that the ultimate goal of changing lives through innovation is accomplished,” said Prof. Kahangi.
This year’s Expo, graced by the University’s Chancellor Prof. Geoffrey Moriaso Ole Maloiy, brought together students exhibitors from seven universities namely; Technical University of Kenya, University of Eldoret, Africa Nazarene University, Taita Taveta University college, Kenyatta University and University of Nairobi. The Expo ends Friday, November 4, 2016.