JKUAT Marks the 18th Scientific Conference

From left: CEO, KCIC, Mr. Joseph Marabula, JKUAT Chair of Council, Dr. Micah Onsando and DVC Academic Affair, Prof. Robert Kinyua share a moment during the conference

In the realm of academia where knowledge reigns supreme, a powerful force emerges. A force that intertwines the private sector with a vibrant policy environment.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), Mr. Joseph Marabula, this force, heralded as the linchpin, stands poised to unleash its might upon universities and research institutions, empowering them to transform their groundbreaking research and innovation into tangible commercial success.

“In this era of rapid change and global challenges, it is essential for academia and the private sector to forge strong partnerships. Universities serve as crucibles of innovation, generating groundbreaking ideas and nurturing minds that will drive progress,” said Mr. Marabula.

He further said, for research outputs to reach their full potential and make a tangible impact, technology transfer must take place and the innovations must be commercialized and integrated into the fabric of the society.

Mr. Marabula was speaking during the 18th JKUAT Scientific, Technological, Industrialization Conference and Exhibition at the University, March 21, 2024.

The two-day conference themed: “Fostering Quality Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development,” attracted over 300 participants from academia, government and the private sector.

Organised in seven thematic areas, the conference provided a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and explore innovative approaches to sustainable development in Kenya and Africa.

Participants follow proceedings during the conference

Ranging from agriculture, food security, basic and applied sciences, engineering, ICT, governance and policy, medicine, energy and climate change, the discussions focused on the importance of research, innovation, and collaboration in achieving sustainable development.

In consonance with the sentiments expressed by the Chief Guest, JKUAT Chair of Council, Dr. Micah Onsando, issued a compelling challenge to the researchers, imploring them not to view research and development as mere ends in themselves.

Instead, he urged them to embark on a transformative journey, one where their innovations blossom into products capable of fostering employment opportunities, igniting industrialisation and catalyzing widespread commercialization, hence impacting the economy.

Underscoring the significance of such conferences within the academic sphere, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi emphasized the pivotal role that institutions of higher learning continue to play in advancing knowledge and addressing society’s complex challenges.

Expressing her satisfaction with the diverse array of papers presented at the conference, Prof. Ngumi conveyed her confidence that the solutions proposed in the papers would significantly contribute to the development agenda of nations.

“The papers have the potential to bolster Kenya’s pursuit of various government objectives, including advancements in agriculture, food security, affordable housing, healthcare accessibility, and manufacturing,” said Prof. Ngumi in a speech read by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua.

The Chief Guest and a section of JKUAT Management Board interact with the Institute of Biotechnology Research Products

Furthermore, Prof. Ngumi called upon the government to foster an environment that is conducive, and efficient for researchers and innovators. Such an environment, she argued, would not only enable their endeavors but also facilitate the commercialization of research, thus creating opportunities for societal advancement.

Asserting the significance of hosting the conference on an annual basis, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Jackson Kwanza, emphasized that the hallmark of a distinguished university is evident in the excellence of its academic and training initiatives, research endeavors, and its capacity to disseminate innovations and technologies, thus amplifying economic progress.

The scientific conference also saw keynote presentations from Mr. Aggrey Mulumbi, Managing Director and Principal Officer KCB, Prof. Lotta-Riina Sundberg of University of Jyvaskyla, Prof. Domnic Byarugaba, AICAD Executive Director and Mr. Eric Muthuuri, Director, MasterCard.

JKUAT Marks the 18th JKUAT Scientific, Technological, Industrialization Conference and Exhibition

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