With dwindling capitation throughout the years and a new financing model dependent on the number of students accepted to higher education institutions, there is a need to identify and diversify sustainable revenue options.

To this end, JKUAT through the Research, Production and Extension division in collaboration with the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) organized a talk by the Director General, NACOSTI, Prof. Walter O. Oyawa on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

Director General, NACOSTI, Prof. Walter O. Oyawa makes his presentation during the forum.

The talk sought to provide JKUAT staff and students with invaluable information and actionable strategies for advancing the visibility and impact of their researches and innovations.

Prof. Oyawa stated that institutions of higher learning generate numerous research and innovation ideas, but the process of marketing and commercialization remains a barrier in efforts to establish sustainable income sources for the universities.

“There is still a lot to be done to ensure that higher education institutions recognize the importance of promoting their research and inventions. Interpretation of information and ideas from institutions of higher learning is vital in providing answers to challenges in society,” stated Prof. Oyawa.

The Director General emphasized on the importance of universities seeking collaboration in a move he noted could be an important channel in utilizing their ideas while broadening their expertise in emerging areas like Artificial intelligence among others.

Even with the necessary experience and expertise available, Prof. Oyawa said that only higher education institutions that are proactive in utilizing their skills and knowledge to boost the country’s economy through collaborative ventures such as forensic analysis, provision of lab services or other research-based ventures will attract considerable funding.

“It is your responsibility as a university to put yourself in a position to draw financing by engaging in other projects that relate to your niche that will eventually generate revenue. Research should be used to advance practices and ultimately provide financial gain for the organization,” said Prof. Oyawa.

He also advocated for expediting the patenting process to safeguard and ensure that intellectual property owners receive the benefits of their creations.

Participants follow proceedings during the forum.

Speaking virtually, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi stated that institutions of higher learning are having a significant problem in commercializing their ideas due to a lack of adequate financing.

“As JKUAT, we have been keen to grow our income source by commercializing our discoveries through partnership with other institutions in order to solve this bottleneck,” said Prof. Ngumi.

The Vice Chancellor also stated that there is still a significant discrepancy in the number of innovations being developed and commercialized, and that the presentation had opened up new avenues for JKUAT to diversify its revenue portfolio.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Jackson Kwanza shares his insights on research and innovations value chains.

The Director at JKUAT’s Intellectual Property and Industry Liaison Office (DIPUIL), Eng. B.K Kariuki, stated that JKUAT has the one of the best IP model in Kenya, which has been critical in protecting the university’s intellectual property.

“JKUAT takes pride in having a well-established intellectual property directorate. As DIPUIL, we have been crucial in giving support to researchers and innovators in terms of establishing the necessary infrastructure and ability to preserve and secure their discoveries,” observed Eng. Kariuki.

Source: https://www.jkuat.ac.ke/universities-urged-to-be-strategic-in-improving-visibility-of-research-and-innovations/