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In Pursuit of the Third Mission: Universities and public research institutes as progenitors of technology and innovation in Kenya
The Scinnovent Centre Discussion Paper 03

Bolo, M   Odongo, D   Awino, V

April 2015

The Kenya Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy regime is underpinned by the assumption that universities and public research institutes (PRIs) should generate knowledge and technologies for eventual uptake and commercialization by the private sector. This assumption is informed by the cooperative technology paradigm, which in its broadest sense is seen as a set of values emphasizing on the cooperation amongst various actors notably, government, universities and the private sector. It is largely assumed that knowledge, technologies and innovations are generated at the universities and/or research institutes who then transfer them to the private sector and/or industry, which then absorbs and turns it into products and services that drive the economy. This basic assumption – universities/PRIs make, industry takes – is dependent on the suitability of the universities/PRIs to the task of generating such knowledge, technologies and innovations and the existence of mechanisms for sharing/transferring it with the private sector.

This study applies a mixture of methods including policy review, trend analysis of industrial property (IP) rights database held by the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), institutional assessments and interviews to interrogate the role of universities and public research institutes as progenitors of technology and innovation in Kenya.