Successful innovation requires enabling system that facilitates commercialisation of such innovations. These include enabling policies, institutional infrastructure e.g. IP offices, incubation and Technology Transfer platforms and programs among others. There over 300 institutions (research centres, TVETs, Universities) in Kenya that form a strong basis for IP creation, and potential exploitation. These institutions are at various stages of IP development based on their commercialization capacity:
- Tier 1: Already have a form of TTO, substantial research outputs, have commercialized a few items
- Tier 2: Emerging and promising, have research policies, have IP office, have strategic direction but not TTO and operations are somewhat uncoordinated
- Tier 3: Tet to develop basic systems to support protection and exploitation of IP
These institutions and their affiliated researchers have over the years produced meaningful prototypes but have not got their solutions into market in a meaningful way. The challenge lies in the weak institutional capacity to guide commercialisation, more so in the context of the fact that it requires multiple skills, which the researchers in these institutions do not have.
The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of Kenya’s research institutions in commercialising knowledge products (Ips) through capacity support and linkages to relevant market environment. commercially viable products with contribution to job creation and overall economic growth of Kenya. This objective is in line with the key goals of FCDO’s flagship initiative ‘’the Africa Technology and Innovation Partnership`s (ATIP) and KeNIA’s mandate to shape the policy and regulatory environment for innovation. The project feeds into the forthcoming KeNIA’s 10-year national innovation masterplan and national guidelines on commercialization planned within financial years 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.
The specific objectives of the activity will be
- To understand the capacity of research institution to pursue commercialisation
- To identify and analyse institutional research outputs with commercialisation potential and identify opportunities and challenges for commercialisation
- Develop interventions that would strengthen capacity of select institutions towards commercialisation
- Identify lessons and feed-back for more scaled up commercialisation and learning for the institutions in various tiers