Innovation Research Symposium 2017

University of Nairobi Towers

March 7, 2017 – March 7, 2017


On behalf of the University of Nairobi and on my own behalf, it is my pleasure to present the proceedings of the first Innovation Research Symposium that was held at the University of Nairobi during the Nairobi Innovation Week 2017. I was honoured to be at the symposium to listen to research paper presentation and engage in the research discourse. The University of Nairobi is a research intensive university with a reputation for excellence and a strong and vibrant research culture. It is our objective to ensure that our research, across all disciplines remains relevant by positively impacting the community and the region.As we all know, research is the backbone to development, providing solutions to societal problems through the transfer of knowledge and technologies, interactions and reflection, thereby improving community livelihoods.

The UoN Research Policy recognizes that the existing gaps that underlie the realization of development agenda cannot be adequately addressed without inputs of institutions of higher learning and research.As such the University of Nairobi in its strategic direction remains alive to the significance of research and how it impacts development, making conscious and deliberate efforts to achieve the same. At the national level, the Vision 2030 also recognises the role of research and development, science and technology and innovation in improving the economy and human development. These strategies can be achieved when there is a balance in the quality of research undertaken, prioritising societal problems, utilizing existing knowledge on the societal problems, availing financial capacity to address the problems and building and availing the necessary critical resources for utilisation. 

Research and extension is therefore a function of the government as decision makers, the public as target population, industry as commercial partners and researchers as creators of the new knowledge. With this platform, the goal of high quality research underpinning knowledge creation and technology transfer is within our reach. Institutions of higher learning and research institutes working together with government working together can promote relevant research geared towards national development. It is essential that Higher Education Institutions position themselves to collaborate and share knowledge and innovation with governments and development agencies to impact positively on national development. The Innovation Research Symposium is one such avenue where the key stakeholders can come together and share knowledge and experiences. These proceedings, therefore, provide a permanent record of the presentations by the various researchers.  We hope you find them useful, look forward to your participation in future symposia.

Prof.Lucy Irungu
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension
University of Nairobi


Editors' Foreword

 The world today is faced with complex challenges in the areas of health, education, technology, urbanization, environment, among many others. Such complexity calls for innovative solutions. Researchers are best placed to provide pathways towards innovative solutions by engaging in knowledge exchange. The Innovation Research Symposium offers a platform for multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange for researchers in the region. During the event, about 50 researchers from diverse backgrounds, discussed the importance of innovation in their different disciplines.

A befitting welcome address was given by Prof. Lucy Irungu, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Extension and Production (DVC-RPE) at the University of Nairobi. The DVC-RPE urged researchers to take the lead in solving the pressing local and global challenges, in keeping with the 2017 theme of Nairobi Innovation Week. The address was followed by a keynote speech on ‘driving innovation through advanced research in Africa’ delivered by Dr. David Moinina Sengeh of IBM Research – Africa.

The morning session of the symposium was a plenary discussion, in which researchers presented their work. Their presentations provoked lively discussions about the need for local solutions that take into account the global context of innovation; the researchers were challenged to consider how their proposed solutions can be replicated in other regions, given the shared challenges around the world.

 The plenary discussion was followed by a more interactive, poster presentation session in the afternoon termed as the ‘marketplace’. At the marketplace, researchers displayed their findings in the form of posters and exhibitions, with the audience going around the room to engage with each presenter. During this session, presenters had a chance to explain aspects of their work in detail, as the audience got to experience actual innovations.

 The afternoon session culminated in the launch of the first ‘Research cafe’, in which a panel of eminent researchers presented their views on how innovation research can be advanced in the region. The panelists motivated the audience to discuss the challenges of carrying out and disseminating research, given the resource constraints faced by most academic institutions in the region. The 2017 Innovation Research Symposium is the first in a series of annual symposia, that will propel innovation research in the region.

Prof. Madara Ogot and Dr. Amollo Ambole
Co-Editors, 2017



2018 Call for Papers Now Open


The Call for Papers for the 2018 Innovation Research Symposium is now open.  The Symposium will be held on the 6th of March 2018 on the Main Campus of the University of Nairobi.

All papers must be submitted through the University of Nairobi Conferences Portal.

Posted: 2017-12-11
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