The Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) is seeking strategic partnerships to help in driving Knowledge Economy and Innovation. The initiative brings together various stakeholders within the industry to support the commercialization of research and the development of new solutions and enterprise to help in driving Knowledge Economy and Innovation.
The partners will be classified in various categories and will be entitled to specific opportunities based on the capabilities demonstrated in the submitted partnership proposal.
Joe Mucheru, the ICT CS who is championing the initiative is calling upon industry and players in the sector to work together in building a more coordinated system of investing in innovation in Kenya. He says the Knowledge Economy and Innovation initiative will play a big role in incorporating innovation and technology in the realization of the government’s Big 4 Agenda.
The initiative is focusing on main components among them:
- BIG 4 Agenda: Innovation and commercialization of research findings in the Big 4 areas of Food security, Health care, Housing and Manufacturing
- Virtual Science and Technology Park: It will deliver the entire STP ecosystem virtually through a single national collaboration platform. It will also bring resources, stakeholders and experts into one collaboration platform
- Internet of Things (IoT and Big Data): This will allow Konza to leverage big data for innovation purposes by its partner organizations as well as build synergies in reaping the benefits of IoT and Big Data
- The Innovation Forum. It will establish a focal point to voice the innovation challenges and influence policies that will support a thriving innovation space. The forum will bring together the quadruple helix players namely; Academia, Industry, Government, community/civil society. Konza will provide a supportive platform for the national innovation ecosystem.
- Startup: Fast tracking startups through the business lifecycle, through a framework of startups acceleration process
- Creative Economy Program: Explore other possibilities within the creative industries for job and wealth creation offering support in access to the potentials of digital and online businesses
On his part, Eng. John Tanui, the KoTDA CEO, says Konza is seeking to contribute to the consolidation and harmonization of innovation efforts by supporting the creation of a vibrant innovation ecosystem.
“Partnerships are an important avenue for building a thriving innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will create jobs and new enterprises. It also provides a platform to support and showcase unique ideas and stimulate the innovation ecosystem that Konza is keen to build,” said Tanui.
KoTDA launched its 2020 strategic plan indicating to key pillars of the city’s success – one is Technopolis Infrastructure represented by the ongoing infrastructure works and two is the Knowledge Economy and Innovation pillar represented by this initiative.
KoTDA has made progress with the development of key infrastructure setting the pace for private sector to take up space at the Technopolis. Six investors namely: Nova Pioneer Group of Schools, Craft Silicon, National Construction Authority, Makueni AKA, and KETRACO have been allocated land in Konza. The government has begun the process of upgrading phase 1 horizontal infrastructure, construction of KoTDA Hub, the government cloud infrastructure and establishment of Kenya’s first dedicated research and Innovation University (KAIST).
This presents a total investment of over Kshs 73 billion by the government.
Konza Technopolis will also be a special economic zone with incentives targeted at participating enterprises.
Konza Technopolis is a vision 2030 project whose objective is to position Kenya as knowledge-based economy and a preferred Science, Technology and Innovation destination. Through building a vibrant innovation ecosystem, Konza Technopolis shall focus on key sectors of the economy, among them, Life Science, Engineering and ICT/ITES that will enhance local innovation, R&D, entrepreneurship and Technology enterprise formation culture. Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) aims to initiate programs that will support the generation of 17,000 direct jobs and 30,000 residents on completion of phase 1 and over 200,000 residents on its completion.