President Kenyatta keen to replicate the Irish model of supporting innovation in Kenya

Fionnuala Quinlan and Uhuru Kenyatta
President Kenyatta shakes hands with Irish Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan at the launch of the 2nd Young Scientists Kenya National and Technology Exhibition at the KICC in Nairobi. Photo: Twitter/FionnualaQuinl2

On Saturday, at the launch of the 2nd Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) National and Technology Exhibition at the KICC in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) to offer free patents to viable innovations generated during past, present and future YSK exhibitions.

The President said the country’s future lies in scientific innovations and called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that transformative innovations are adequately safeguarded.

In an effort to encourage linkages with industry, the President similarly directed a waiver of trademark fees with respect to all innovations emanating from Young Scientists Exhibitions, beginning from 2018 and announced plans for a national business boot camp within the next 9 months to refine viable innovations into commercial projects.

The President said his administration is keen to replicate the Irish model of supporting innovation by offering special incentives for private sector investors who support innovations by the youth.

Also speaking at the launch, Irish Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan assured the President that her country will continue partnering with Kenya to ensure innovations by young people continue to improve so as to contribute more to the development and transformation of Kenya.

Young scientists were also challenged by the President to develop innovations aligned to the country’s Big 4 and Vision 2030 development agenda which aims to transform the lives of Kenyans. He also used the launch to announce that the government would be implementing the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) to keep up with the fast-changing world characterized by remarkable advances in science and technology, particularly in information, communication and computing.

This year’s Irish government supported YSK exhibition has attracted 235 entries and attended over 45,000 participants among them students from across the country.

Yesterday morning Irish Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan and YSK Chair Dr Kevit Desai briefed the judges ahead of the start of the evaluation process.

The YSK projects are open for public viewing from 2pm today (6 August) and from 8am on Wednesday morning (7 August).

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