Enabling industrialisation through Open Innovation


The Industry-Academia Platform (iTATU), a platform set up by the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) under the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP), recently held its annual event themed "Enabling Industrialization through Open Innovation." The event showcased the remarkable results of collaboration between higher education students and industries, highlighting the transformative potential of open innovation in driving Kenya's industrial growth.

Implemented by the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry - State Department for Industry (MITI-SDI) and supported by the World Bank, KIEP aims to boost innovation and productivity in selected private sector firms, aligning with Kenya's Vision 2030. iTATU, a key component of KIEP, focuses on bridging the gap between academia and industry by fostering a culture of open innovation.

The annual event served as a platform to demonstrate the power of collaborative problem-solving. Student teams from various higher education institutions and disciplines presented more than 12 innovative solutions they developed to address real-world challenges faced by industries. These solutions ranged from ideas in the ideation stage to prototypes and products ready for commercialization. Some of the solutions include: trapping steam from Geothermal wells and the temperatures regulated to hatch eggs, setting up micro-dairies for smallholder farmers to maximise on the available quantities and reduce cost, in mobility – a revolution from oil to the use of green hydrogen, and lastly but not least, a traceability system that a mango processor can use and consumers from the farm to the retail shelves. The companies that posed the challenges were: Endless Africa, Mobius Motors, Milly Fruits processors, Latia Resource centre and Kenya Power.

Another event's highlight was the gathering of experts from academia and industry to discuss the future of open innovation in Kenya. Through insightful presentations and panel discussions, they shared valuable insights on building a sustainable open innovation ecosystem that can drive the country's industrialization efforts.

The iTATU platform's success lies in its ability to create a dynamic environment where students, industry professionals, and stakeholders can collaborate, exchange ideas, and co-create solutions. By facilitating these interactions, iTATU not only nurtures practical skill development among students but also enables industries to tap into the creative potential of young minds.

The annual event showcased the remarkable outcomes of this collaborative approach. Students had the opportunity to showcase their skills and innovative thinking, while industries gained access to fresh perspectives and unique solutions to their challenges. This synergy between academia and industry holds immense promise for accelerating Kenya's industrial growth and competitiveness.

As Kenya strives to achieve its industrialization goals, initiatives like iTATU play a crucial role in fostering innovation and bridging the skills gap. By providing a platform for open innovation and collaboration, iTATU is setting the stage for a new era of industry-academia partnership that can drive sustainable economic development.

The success of the iTATU Annual Event is a testament to the untapped potential of open innovation in Kenya. It demonstrates the power of bringing together bright minds from academia and industry to solve real-world problems. As we move forward, it is essential to support and scale such initiatives to create a thriving innovation ecosystem that can propel Kenya's industrialization to new heights.

About the project
The Kenya Industry & Entrepreneurship Project is supported by the Kenyan Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry and funded by the World Bank Group. the project is implemented by Maastricht School of Management. The contents of this news item are the sole responsibility of the Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht University and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the World Bank Group or Kenyan Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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