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Tertiary colleges now have an avenue to launch prototypes into the market via partnerships with select companies after the government launched a student-centric Industry-Academia Platform, ITATU.  

The open-source platform creates nationwide opportunities for local companies to seek partnerships with select student teams towards the development of product-specific prototypes thereby creating an effective path for the commercialization of products and the launch of an entrepreneurial journey for the students.

Partnerships will see companies support the innovation of new products through access to relatively low-cost human capital and enable students to gain practical, on-demand skills and workplace experience during their formal education thereby strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kenya.

MITI Principal Secretary Dr. Juma Mukhwana says this is an opportunity for corporates to build synergy with students in nurturing an innovation culture at the workplace where solution-oriented initiatives will now become the norm.

“At the cusp of a significant shift in how economies are organized around digital and green transitions, innovation is now more crucial than ever. Emerging countries risk being left behind unless they pay attention to how to create and drive local innovations, and capture the leapfrog opportunities that these new developments present,” he said.

The launch in Nairobi,themed ‘Enhancing industry-academia partnerships through open innovation’ saw panel discussions from various industry stakeholders emphasizing the value of creating buy-in from both industry and academia.

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