US Department of Defense, JKUAT Explore Collaboration

Prof. Victoria Wambu Ngumi (in blue coat) interacts with Dr. Rhett Jefferies when the USA Department of Defense visited JKUAT

A team from the United State of America, Department of Defense led by the Technical Director, Office of Naval Research, Dr. Rhett Jefferies docked at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to explore possible areas of cooperation in basic research, October 11, 2022.

In a meeting with JKUAT researchers, Dr. Jefferies said through partnerships with academia, industry and government, the USA Department of Defense coordinates and sponsors scientific research and technology development for the betterment of society.

Dr. Jefferies and his team highlighted the possible areas for research funding and how to apply for the available grants.

“We are constantly looking for innovative, scientific and technological solutions that can address current and future challenges facing our communities. Our goal is to work with people and organizations with ground-breaking ideas, pioneering scientific research, novel technology developments and first-class support services,” said Dr. Jefferies.

Round table discussions between JKUAT researchers and USA Department of Defense officials

While welcoming the team to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi appreciated the team for choosing JKUAT as a potential collaborator, assuring them that they had landed at the right institution.

“As JKAUT, we are alive to the fact that research and innovation is key to the attainment of any country’s development agenda. Our researchers are constantly working to solve problems facing our country and region,” said Prof. Ngumi.

She further informed the team that, JKUAT had been at the forefront in fostering a culture of multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational research among faculty and students. This, she said, had enabled JKUAT to produce top-notch research enterprises that have earned the University prestige and recognition beyond Kenya.

“JKUAT is for example home to the Legume Centre of Excellence for Food Nutrition Security, Cassava Virology Lab, EU-funded Food Fortification Lab, the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, Africa’s only International Maritime Technology Corporation Centre and Innovation Prototyping Centre among others,” enumerated Prof. Ngumi.

Dr. Jefferies was accompanied to the University by Dr. Leslie Blaha, Hollie A. Pietsch, Dr. Laura Stockman, Avelino Amado, and Melissa Edwards, among others. The officers were drawn from the USA Air Force, Army, Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defence.

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