Kenyan economy requires competent human capital for its growth and development in order for Kenya to be a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life. Institutions of higher learning in the Country have continued building this human capital through enrollment into colleges and universities that offered industrial, professional and vocational programs. However, there has been a growing need for technical and vocational education skills in recognition of the role it plays in economic growth. Besides, harnessing of innovations from technical training institutes and universities in Kenya has not been quite satisfactory. There is need to increase the identification, nurturing, development and commercialization of innovative ideas from the formal learning institutions and informal sectors of the economy in order to accelerate industrialization pace and thus achieve the Kenya Vision 2030 goals.
In recognition of this need, Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) has established a regional innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship centre at its main campus, Nchiru – Meru County. The objectives of the Centre is to nurture, mentor, empower and sustain innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives for global and local wealth creation through businesses.
Objectives of the Call
- To improve access to opportunities for developing business ideas through incubation, innovation and dissemination
- To support acceleration of innovation prototypes into viable commercial product/service.
- To encourage wealth creation for posterity through collaborative network of innovators and venture capitalists.
- To show case successful innovation ventures through publications and outreach programmes
1.2 Scope of Innovations
Potential innovators are not limited to any specific areas of innovation provided such innovations end up into commercialized venture that will have significant socio-economic value to the society. However, innovators are encouraged to consider the Kenya`s national development blue print priority areas as envisaged in the Kenya Vision 2030. These are,
- Economic Pillar (tourism sector, agriculture sector, manufacturing sector, wholesale and retail sector, ICT and BPO and financial sector)
- Political Pillar (governance, public security, rule of law and public service reforms)
- Social Pillar (population, urbanization and housing sector, gender, youth and vulnerable groups, labour and employment sector, education and training sector, equity and poverty elimination, social security sector, health sector, environment, water and sanitation)
- The Big Four (manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and food security)– as directed by the President
3.0 Opportunities at the Centre
The Centre provides a serene environment for innovation. These include offices with workstations, high speed internet connectivity, discussion lobbies, conference facilities and high quality social amenities. The innovators will also enjoy library resources, laboratory and workshop facilities in the University for their innovation works as well as security for their property at the Centre. Other benefits includes,
- Joint innovation development through exchange and visitations.
- Innovation research information and data sharing
- Enhancement of professional skills for innovators.
- Logistic and financial support and advice to the innovators
- Advisory support on market opportunities for the innovations
- Partnership arrangement for the innovators on commercialization of the innovations.
- Offering of academic/technical support to the innovators.
- Assisting innovators to find industry adopters/mentors.
- Providing advisory support for innovation patenting and copy right protection.
3.0 Selection Criteria
The viability of proposed innovations will be vetted by Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) technical committee. The selection criteria will consider the following aspects alongside other sector specific requirement,
- Commercial viability
- Target market availability
- Potential to change lives
- Enhancement of skills/knowledge
- Availability of technical mentors
4.0 Application Procedure
Potential innovators can pick application forms from the office the Director Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) main campus, Nchiru. The application forms are also available on the University website (www.must.ac.ke). The potential innovators are required to complete application form and return to the Director`s office for further processing.
Admission to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre is a continuous process. University staff, students, researchers, individual practitioners, youths and women are all encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities available at the Centre and roll out innovations that will create wealth and change peoples` lives.
For further enquiry, please contact,
Director Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
Meru University of Science and Technology,
P.O. Box 972-60200
Phone: 0712 524293, 0706 364687, 0721 820562