Sixty six research projects at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) have won grants amounting to Sh115 million.
The grants, given by the government through the National Research Fund (NRF), are expected to pay for research projects.
JKUAT Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension (RPE), Prof Mary Abukutsa, lauded the financial assistance, but noted there was still much to be done to increase research financing to 2 per cent of the gross domestic product.
The grant to JKUAT and other institutions by the NRF is a significant breakthrough by the government towards consolidating research and innovation in universities and other research institutions.
Prof Abukutsa noted the grants are a progressive input towards poverty eradication and improvement of livelihoods in line with the country’s socio-economic development plans.
“NRF will help us increase research and innovation output as it is similarly funding innovations through the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA), thus boosting out developers’ innovations,” said Prof Abukutsa.
HIGHER COMPLETION RATES
She further held that KENIA ought to support innovations that have for long been shelved by their research institutions due to lack of funding, to upscale them and harness their efficacies into service and product benefits through commercialisation.
Apart from assisting JKUAT to speed up the accomplishment of her training, research and innovation vision, Prof Abukutsa is confident that the research grants will be a relief to postgraduate students, translating into higher completion rates at the Masters and PhD level.
NRF is a national research agency established under the Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Act of 2013 to facilitate research, science, technology and innovation for national development.
It seeks to enable the promotion, co-ordination and regulation of the progress of science, technology and innovation of the country.
Through it, the country can entrench science, technology and innovation into the national production system.