The anticipated rapid technological change across the world requires countries and institutions to form robust collaborations in a move aimed at aligning Science, Technology and Innovation systems as well as industrial policies in enhancing digital skills among students and professionals.
This was revealed during the 27th Innovation Incubation Webinar held on Friday, October 15, 2021 titled: “High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data for Research, Development and Innovation,” organized by the Africa-ai-Japan to give students and staff a clear picture of the role higher institutions of learning play in technological advancements and what the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) does in the science and innovation sector.
Deputy Director and Chief Analyst, Infrastructure, Information and Communication Science at NACOSTI, Mr. Cyrus Kamau Kihuha said, basic research is driven by curiosity and expands the frontiers of scientific knowledge that is important in spurring radical innovation, noting, research represents one of the major pillars of the innovation systems.
“Its significance as a location factor in knowledge-based economies is important in spurring technological development and socio-economic innovations. Research is significant in unlocking Kenya’s development potential,” Mr. Kamau asserted.
He underscored the importance of formulation of strong policies that will be essential in streamlining the bottlenecks faced by the technology sector, pointing out the immense contribution of research conducted by institutions of higher learning brings to the industrial sector, especially in highlighting issues that need to be addressed.
“Researchers are able to study and understand complex phenomena while allowing policy makers to make better decisions thus enabling the industry to innovate quality products and services,” Mr. Kamau stated.
However, he was quick to note that as much as research is important in the world of industry, investment is equally vital as it provides financial power in building and purchasing the requisite infrastructure and in this case, high performance computing hardware.
HPC is a strategic resource to any country or region in terms of processing huge volumes of generated data within a long period of time. Financing HPC infrastructure is necessary in attracting international investors.
The discussion was part of the ongoing series of webinars that are organized weekly by the Africa-ai-Japan under the phase II project at JKUAT.