Enhancing Kenya's Competitiveness in the Knowledge-Based Economy through Universities' Research Chairs Program
Kenya's universities face increasing pressure to play a more active role in national development over and above their traditional teaching and research functions. This project will contribute to Kenya's social and economic development by enhancing the research capacity of public universities through a Research Chairs Program. To meet the demand for more active involvement in development, universities must interact more with industry and a wide range of social actors. Kenya's development blueprint, known as Vision 2030, identifies universities as key players in the country's social and economic development. Yet local universities remain under-resourced, poorly equipped, burdened by heavy teaching loads, and isolated from their local economic dynamics. Kenya's enactment of the Science, Technology and Innovation Bill, 2012 marks a turning point in the government's interest in and commitment to a science-led development agenda. It also provides an opportunity for IDRC to support the recently created National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation's research and policy agenda. The University Research Chairs Programme will be the first of its kind in Kenya. It is deliberately designed to help local public universities build strategic alliances with industry in the agriculture and health sectors. IDRC's funding to the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation will support one chair over 5 years. The Commission has made a commitment to fund a second chair at the same level.