DVC RPE Prof. Lucy W. Irungu speaking at PowerForum.
On Wednesday 6, from about 3:30 p.m., all Power Forum enthusiasts were sitting at the SCI PhD lab under the feet of the UoN Vice Chancellor- Research, Production and Extension(RPE)- Prof. Lucy Irungu , listening with appreciation as she unleashed wonderful foods for thought.
Some of the topics the DVC RPE had scheduled to speak on included the university’s commitment to strategies and activities to support innovation, incubation, research and Development(R&D); resources available to startups, innovators and researchers; the future and potential of IP as a revenue stream as well as the commitment of UoN RPE to support C4DLab’s strategic plan.
Before then, the head or tail of the DVC RPE’s power talk had not really been grasped by majority of the attendees because it was reportedly assumed to be another sort of a lecture, but the moment the university’s administrator laid bare the real purpose of the special visit, everybody else suddenly became very interested in the agenda.
Part of the attentive crowd during the empowering talk.
Hence, Prof. Irungu’s tenor of discourse did not depart from the following crucial revelations:
That the University’s Research Strategy is nothing other than to grow research capacity, establishing a research management structure, enhancing an enabling infrastructure, building research competitiveness among others.
And because of the existence of fruitful research policies such as Intellectual Property, Open Access, Plagiarism and many others, the Research Production and Extension division of the University boasts of several significant successes. Among them is the training of over 400 academic staff in efficient proposal writing, the qualification of about 90 PhD staff, successful multidisciplinary partnerships and collaborations, and sustained sensitization/training workshops .
Others on the list of milestones are establishment of the Research Grants Information Management Systems(RGIMS), the subscription to Research Africa Platform(RAP), increased dissemination of research outputs plus even active involvement in the crafting of relevant science and technology laws.
Part of the senior university staff that attended Power Forum.
What is more, RPE”s ‘innovation milestones ‘ list is even longer, but the ones spoken about at Power Forum were nothing more than the establishment of the now productive Science and Technology Park (STP), which is charged with nurturing talent and incubation of innovations. C4DLab, the Department of Food Science as well as the KAVI-Institute are also among the entities at the university of Nairobi which further the vision of RPE.
But, according to DVC RPE, this is just but the beginning. And so RPE has set aside KSh 25 million to go towards innovation and creativity as well as the establishment of the creativity award scheme, factors she believes will further RPE’s success agenda.
As a consequence, the Research Production and Extension wing of the university is even much more positively optimistic: in the not so distant future, announced Prof Irungu, RPE will have trained 0ver 150 academic staff, developed an institutional research evaluation framework, supported the development of multidisciplinary research groups, and increased the utilization of the Research Africa Platform.
The overflow is worth the wait: the development of the research career track programme, the framework supporting early career researchers, and the training of 100 more PhD staff is what Prof. Irungu didn’t have to be-labour because, given the confidence with which the accomplished scholar delivered her message, many concluded the vision was already accomplished.
What else? The challenge was for everyone to make use of such opportunities for advancement as these. As C4DLab, the opportunities are ours for the taking.
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About the writer
Moses Omusolo is the Social Media Manager, C4DLab.