Commercialization of research outputs in universities has been a boggling phenomenon even at a time when institutes of higher learning have long been seen as failing to fully capitalize on its ground-breaking research.
To fully exploit their research outputs, Kenyan universities, including JKUAT, have come up with enterprise wings in a bid to enhance their commercialization and entrepreneurial activity thus ensuring financial stability.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Enterprises (JKUATES) is a State Corporation operating as a limited company and is fully owned by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
It provides practical solutions for business problems, markets the University’s innovations, consultancy, and links the University with industry, government, the public and other stakeholders towards sustainable development.
The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, State Department for University Education and Research, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi lauded JKUATES for its efforts in propagating the research outputs of JKUAT to the society, March 23, 2021.
“I am a proud customer of JKUATES. I have grown tissue culture bananas from JKUAT in the village and I can confidently report that they are nourishing,” said Amb. Nabukwesi when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi and JKUATES.
To supplement the enterprise wing of the University, the PS urged the University to venture more into Industry-University collaboration as a key mechanism for commercialization of research thus achieving self-reliance and sustenance.
“JKUAT has the muscle and technical prowess to collaborate with industry and government as knowledge is transferred between sectors resulting in the sustainable and economic development of the country,” elucidated Amb. Nabukwesi.
While acknowledging that the University has a challenge in commercialization, Prof. Ngumi said JKUAT increasingly invests and strives in conducting research that has social and economic impact to the society.
“As a University, our strength in research is beyond bounds; and that is why we are fully supportive of JKUATES to encourage and accelerate JKUAT’s commercialization outcomes and foster a culture of industry engagement and collaboration,” said Prof. Ngumi.
Echoing the Vice Chancellors sentiments, the Chair of Council, Amb. Mahboub Maalim said JKUAT has the capacity and expertise to produce research outputs and innovations that are capable to transform the development trajectory of the country.
While giving a brief on JKUATES, Managing Director, Dr. Winfred Karugu said JKUATES has worked hard to build and equip the factories, develop products, branding and marketing plan and requested the government through the Ministry of Education to support the enterprise as it moves to greater heights.
“To support the development agenda of the country, we ensure that during our product development we produce nutritious products, such as vegetable fortified noodles and use locally available materials and products to empower our farmers and local producers,” said Dr. Karugu.
The PS, accompanied by the Chair of Council, Vice Chancellor and the JKUATES Board visited the various factories at JKUATES including the noodles factory, dairy processing plant, seedlings propagating plant and the instant porridge factory.