On February 23rd 2016, Eng. John Tanui, Chief Executive Officer Konza Technopolis delivered the lecture “The Role of Universities in Building Kenya’s Innovation Ecosystem” providing an engaging view of the topic for attendees from across the University. He noted that Universities can contribute towards innovation in several ways via new firm spin offs, technology licensing, technology and service commercialization and university technology transfer to either established or new companies. In his lecture, he urged industry and academia to work together to come up with innovative solutions.
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi said the University has positioned itself in the innovation ecosystem contributing towards national innovation capacity via the commercialization of university research. He noted that innovations will not just happen rather effort must be put to identify gaps within the ecosystem.
The keynote presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the role of universities in building an innovation ecosystem. The panelists tackled pertinent issues on matters innovation. Among the issues that arose include financing, patenting and marketing. Prof. Bitange Ndemo, Associate Professor, School of Business, Dr. Tonny Omwansa, C4DLab and Mr. Joe Ogutu, Strategy and Innovation Director, Safaricom, were the day’s panelists.
The forum is the first of a series of innovation lectures planned in collaboration with UoN partners ahead of this year’s Nairobi Innovation Week.