The National Science week held annually, is organized and hosted by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation in Kenya (NACOSTI). This year’s event themed ‘the role of science, technology and innovation in the Post- 2015 development agenda’ was held on 11 to 15 May 2015 at the University of Nairobi. The Director, Scinnovent Centre, delivered a keynote presentation under sub-theme 5 on knowledge management and technology transfer.
In his presentation, Dr. Bolo explained the changing role of universities in national development and the resultant pressures of transitioning to knowledge based economy and achieving the third mission, recognized as innovation. His presentation focused on the results from a study carried out by the Scinnovent Centre to explore the factors that enable or constrain the translation of public sector research outputs into commercial products.
According to a paper published by the centre, our universities and PRIs performance is dismal, at least judging by their contribution to Industrial Property (IP) registration in Kenya. For the past 23 years, these institutions have contributed only 5.7%, 9.9% and 0.3% to the national granted patents, utility models and industrial designs respectively. The presentation further revealed that the private sector preferred to use their suppliers, clients, consultants and competitors as their market-sources of information.
Dr. Bolo proposed change in approaches, methods and organization to foster the positioning of our PRIs to achieve their third mission. This entails a synergy of activities that include licensing IP, running joint R&D projects, establishment of Technology Transfer Offices (TTOS), student and staff engagement in technology transfer, promotion of social innovation, creation of start-ups and spin offs, formulation of action plans and quality assurance among others.
The Scinnovent Centre, has furthered its agenda in bridging the gap between research and practice, by developing a framework for enhancing commercialization and strengthening linkages with the private sector. This work funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is in collaboration with NACOSTI and Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) Rwanda. It entails a self assessment tool, action plan, community of practice and resource centre and will be available in online, offline and print versions.
The online version will be launched soon and will be freely available on our website.
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