Gov’t to support construction of science and technology parks in public universities
The Government has announced its commitment to financially support the construction of science and technology parks in public universities in line with the big four agenda.
University Education and Research PS Simon Nabukwesi stated that the innovation park support growth of research among youth, scholars and innovators as well as enhance growth of businesses and creation of employment opportunities in Tharaka Nithi County.
“Kenyans have ideas but we need to practice what we know in order to succeed and improve competitiveness, increase employment and provide solutions to problems facing Kenya” said the PS.
He was speaking at Chuka University on Tuesday when he visited the project site which is currently at 50 percent completion.
Ksh. 7.5 billion is required to complete the project whose implementation commenced during the 2014/15 financial year.
The PS acknowledged the university’s commitment in mobilizing and utilizing resources prudently to construct and equip the science park.
He urged other universities to emulate Chuka University as it transforms into a modern research institution that will eventually attract donor funding, strengthen university linkages and utilize young vibrant brains.
The university has so far spent Ksh. 5billion through mobilized resources towards the phased construction and equipment.
The PS recognized the commitment so far made by the university and said the Ministry of education will support its completion through the national treasury.
He noted that the university had come up with products that enhance food security, improvement in health care and innovations in science and technology.
The PS urged the institution to create partnerships with other developed countries such as Iran, China and Japan whose industrialization had been propelled by similar parks.
He cited China which has over 100 science parks and sends their students to some of the best countries in the world.
Amb. Nabukwesi added that the science parks will transform innovation in university education by creating strong linkages between users, government and the industry.
He later visited the institution’s radio station and encouraged students to take advantage and apply for scholarships being offered annually by several foreign countries through the Ministry of education website.
During his visit the PS also launched the faculty of Law which also has a moot court.
On his part, the University VC Erastus Njoka appealed to the Government to consider allocating additional resources to support the university in completing the science park and other ongoing infrastructure developments.
He said they had already put in place a lot of resources but require additional funding to ensure the pioneer science park is successful.
The VC added that the park will create networks between academies, industry and the public sector.
Prof. Njoka said oncec complete, the science park will consist of research and development hubs, start up centers, incubation hubs, exhibition halls, offices, mini industrial area, business and training centers.
Other leaders present during the event included county commissioner Tharaka Nithi Beverly Opora, members of the university council and senior ministry of education officials.