US$4.6M budgeted for science and tech innovations in Kenya

The National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), the Kenyan government agency for innovation, has said is has budgeted KSh400 million (approx US$4.6 million) for technology innovations in Kenya.

The chief executive of the NCST Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak spoke of the achievements of the council, including an ability to fund over 800 research projects in the country, in an interview with KTN, a Kenyan TV station, during the Business Focus programme.

“The government of Kenya has allocated about KSh400 million (approx US$4.6 million) this financial year, to support all sectors of science, technology and innovation programmes that we have,” Abdulrazak said.

He added that they had supported 45 innovations by young entrepreneurs in Kenya so far and that is part of their mandate as a body.

“We have been trying to see how we can be able to promote and support local talent,” he said.

Some of the innovations that the council has been able to fund include the Shoe Charger by Antony Mutua and Kupata Technologies, which develops security gadgets controllable using smartphones.

Abdulrazak said that numerous innovations have been left in the dark and not exposed enough. Most of these are done by science and technology students as witnessed by science labs like FabLab at the University of Nairobi.

The lab has come up with various prototypes for numerous technology projects including 3D modeling machine, an electronic voting system and a cheap Wi-Fi broadcaster made out of wire mesh.

“We have seen some very successful stories,” Abdulrazak confirmed. “It is important to make local products that will have an impact in the society.”

For the Kupata device, the council granted KSh1 million (US$11,000) for prototype development and KSh3 million (US$35,000) to go to the commercialisation stage.

“For us, we nurture the talent and support it. And we have seen some of the examples mentioned, they are able to form their own companies,” Abdulrazak said.

Posted in: Startups

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