TU-K Hosts Third International Conference on Innovation
The Technical University of Kenya hosted its third international conference on Innovative technologies for development in Nairobi. The conference objective was to gather crucial academics, policy makers, and practitioners to examine the latest developments in science, technology, innovation, and related research and how these can be translated into effective development activities.
This year’s theme was: ‘Technologies as drivers for development’
Speaking during the launch, TU-K Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Shiundu spoke of the university’s commitment to innovation and modern training.
“TU-K’s motto speaks of education and training for the real world” this is testament to our desire to take our students through ways in which to innovate and come up with solutions to the world’s problems.” He said.
“Science can be transformed into effective development activities and thus a need to establish lasting future collaborations in science, technology and innovation so as to enable growth of African economies,” He added.
The key note speaker Prof John Mugabe, Professor of Science and Innovation policy at the University of Pretoria also spoke elaborately on the need to spur African growth with Technological innovations.
“Technological innovation, if well governed, has potential to enlarge human capabilities and transform the wellbeing of millions we need to be more creative in technological change and innovations, we need more discoveries. “ He said.
Prof Mugabe who has worked in various African countries for the past 20 years in African Technology, also spoke of the need to do further research on the link between technological innovations and development.
“The Africa rising narrative is growth based on development, there is need for new policy approaches and institutional arrangements. In the last 15 years Africa has not risen economically as it has been overtaken by the Asian courtiers like china, Japan and Korea in innovations and production,” He added.
Prof Mugabe blamed Africa’s slow uptake of innovation on policies by the funders like International Monetary Fund and World Bank who prefer to invest in Education than Innovation.
“There is poor policing by lenders on Innovation and on many other factors including; weak links between nations, under investments in heath science especially in findings for HIV, innovation gap between knowledge production and application, political leadership and infrastructure, resurgence of academies of science and underfunding by not only the donors but by African governments themselves” he said.
Prof Mugabe challenged TUK technologists and academia to engage in talks with industry operatives that can help achieve innovation success.
“ Institutions like TU-K should engage local companies to start innovation developments at local level, TU-K should also engage the political class to assist in funding technologists, and visit embassies like the Chinese Embassy to engage with their engineers who are deployed by their governments” he added.
The three-day conference witnessed the presentation over 60 abstracts from various academics and professionals from across the globe. The presentations were mainly focused on the conference theme of Technologies as drivers for development.
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