SRI Conference Calls for Academia-Industry Partnership

Prof. Florence Mwaura (2nd right) gifts Ag. Chief Executive Officer, NuPEA, Mr. Justus Wabuyabo. Looking on are Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Jackson Kwanza (right) and Prof. Bernard Ikua (left)

In a world grappling with the multifaceted challenges of climate change, population growth, and energy security, it is imperative that academia, industry and government collaborate to achieve sustainable development.

This was the rallying call by Ag. Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA), Mr. Justus Wabuyabo to a team of academicians and industry players attending the 2023 International Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference held at JKUAT, October 4, 2023.

Mr. Wabuyabo, who was the Chief Guest at the Conference, stressed the importance of research and innovation in driving sustainable development, highlighting the need for industry and academia to work synergistically to translate research into practical solutions that can benefit society.

“I recognize that there is need to strengthen the link between the academia and the industry for more innovation and research output with higher impact. Interaction through fora such as this conference is one way that we can boost the link between academia and industry,” he said.

A cross-section of the participant follow proceedings during the conference

Highlighting the theme of the conference, ‘Linking Industry with Academia through Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development’, Mr. Wabuyabo added that, “collaborations play key roles in the development of key infrastructure and facilities that have made significant contributions to the growth of some of the strongest economies. They also provide a forum for scholars to interact with their peers, industry and government stakeholders.”

Vice Chancellor Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi articulated how the conference aligns seamlessly with JKUAT’s vision to become a University of Global Excellence in Training, Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Development.

“As a University, we are committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders capable of tackling complex issues, as reflected in the conference theme. To realize this vision, we recognize the vital role of collaboration with industry partners across different regions,” said Prof. Ngumi in a speech read on her behalf by Acting Principal, College of Human Resource and Development, Prof. Florence Mwaura.

In appreciation of Kenya’s aspiration towards a knowledge-based economy, Prof. Ngumi encouraged all attendees to leverage the conference for networking, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative problem-solving.

Prof. Maina Maringa, from the Central University of Technology in Free State, South Africa, shares his response to a keynote presentation at the conference.

She expressed confidence that the solutions presented in the conference papers would play a pivotal role in advancing Kenya’s and the region’s development agenda, spanning vital sectors such as agriculture, food security, affordable housing, healthcare access, and manufacturing.

The two-day conference, organized by the JKUAT College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC) and supported by JICA via AFRICA-ai-JAPAN, Suntech, and NuPEA, featured a total of 35 papers covering a wide array of emerging developments in engineering and technology.

The event brought together nearly 100 participants from universities, research institutions, and industry across nine countries namely; Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, Botswana, Eritrea, Thailand, Japan, Senegal, and Germany.

The opening ceremony also featured addresses by Deputy Vice Chancellors Prof. Bernard Ikua (Administration and Finance) and Prof. Jackson Kwanza (Research, Production, and Extension), Acting Principal, COETEC, Dr. Onesmus Muvengei, and the Convener of the SRI Conference, Dr. Peter Oketch.

Group photo; SRI Conference calls for academia-industry collaboration

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