Kenyatta University in collaboration with the University of Rwanda and Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences in Germany, have won a grant of €216,956 to strengthening the capacity in Technology Transfer and Commercialization of University Intellectual Property (TT-CUIP).
The project under the DIES (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) -Partnerships with Higher Education Institutions in Developing Countries will see Kenyatta University and the University of Rwanda pursue the goal of more effective University-industry linkages, where there would be visible products and services in the market associated with university intellectual property and research. This will involve training and professional development of university management staff and researchers involved in the processes of technology transfer and commercialization of IP, improving existing processes and structures for better university management in matters of technology transfer, commercialization of research and university-industry linkages and supporting the process of transfer-oriented structuring and design of education programs for students and researchers to increase the number of innovation ideas from students and researchers and thus help to improve the innovation cultures.
In order to accomplish these, the universities’ Technology Transfer Offices will carry out a variable range of activities relating to different channels of knowledge and technology transfer which include: collaborative research, contract research, consultancy, spin-off and start-up companies, licensing, patenting, and incubator facilities (Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (CBIIC) at Kenyatta University and the Grid Innovation and Incubation Centre (GIIC) at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology).
The project which will culminate in 2024 is expected to stimulate economic growth and development arising out of relevant technology and know-how transfer and commercialization of IP, kindle an upsurge in the number of technology transfer contracts and start-ups arising out of universities, enhance improvement in the university processes on technology transfer and commercialization of IP and support the practice and transfer-orientation of the structure of education programs & teaching.
The Outcomes of the DIES project will be monitored by the number of start-ups and spin-offs arising out of university research and IP, number of technology transfer contracts established with industry partners, number and quality of industry relations established and the degree of adoption of transfer-orientation in courses and education programs of participating university schools and departments. The project will also leverage on the existing innovation ecosystem partners including the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA), Kenya Industrial Property Institute, and private sector players in ensuring that more relevant applied research and transfer is undertaken in order to accelerate the transition of discoveries into products and services that will lead to an increase in employment rates and GDP growth.
The Kenyatta University project team comprises of project manager Dr. George Kosimbei, and members Dr. Shadrach Mambo, Prof. Michael Gicheru and Prof. Benard Njihia.