2ND MULTIDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE AND INNOVATION WEEK OF TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MOMBASA

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Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) held its second Multidisciplinary and Innovation week on 23rd-25th June 2021.

Based on Theme “Leveraging Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development Amidist Prevailing Challenges.” It offered a forum for academicians and researchers to showcase research processes and methodologies. It also provided an opportunity for practitioners and innovators to demonstrate how their innovations are changing the world and exposed them to possible opportunities.

 

Tum Council Chair addressing the academicians and the innovators during the 2nd Multidisciplinary Conference.

 

This year the office of the Registrar Partnership, Research, and Innovation held an outstanding conference with over seventy research papers presented, a Robotics hackathon featuring eight teams. Not forgetting the masters’ classes in the creative design thinking and circular economy.

This conference attracted research organizations, some consortium of organizations including Close the Gap-Kenya, Crosswise Works, NITA and MDF- Training & Consultancy. The four organized a Boost program which mainly provided training to innovators on matters of research and innovation.

I CHOOSE LIFE (ICL) Organization’s sponsored the robotic competition between Students from Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) and Kenya Coast National Polytechnic (KCNP).

Mr. Paul Akwabi- Founder Techkids engaging Ms. Priyanka – The Red cross- National Head of Innovation during the 2nd Multidisciplinary Conference.

Mr. Paul Akwabi founder of the TechKids institution and an alumnus of TUM brought some kids from his organization who graced the event with their robotic games.

Mr. Jasin Owili, The president - TUM Innovation Club, taking through students on Robotics during the 2nd Multidisciplinary Conference.

Addressing the young researchers and their mentors, TUM council chair- Dr. Robert Arunga emphasized on the importance of considering Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda in their research and especially the manufacturing aspect. He stated that through research and commercialization of the findings, universities play a catalyst role in economic development. He further highlighted the challenges affecting the research worldwide citing corruption as the major cause as to why the third world countries are lagging behind in matters of research and innovation. “In our country, corruption should be seriously addressed and dealt with for it's responsible for the collapse of pyrethrum, coffee, sugar, cashewnuts and coconuts industries which immensely contributed to the sluggish economic growth.” He remarked.

He asserted that in normal circumstances Kenya should be spending about 2% of its GDP on research activities for it to catch up with global speed in Research and Innovation. Ironically, with all the natural resources that Kenya has which are yet to be exploited, she only spends about 0.5% on research. He urged the government to put in place research commercialization policies as well.

In her speech, TUM Vice Chancellor – Prof. Laila Abubakar applauded members of staff from the Research, Partnership and Innovations (PRI) office and the innovators for their exemplary efforts putting Technical University of Mombasa on a global map on research and Innovation matters. She stated that through the Registrar (PRI), TUM staff and students have been able to attract funding internationally and from the government. She accentuated that TUM’s efforts in research saved the Likoni ferry channel from being closed due to Covid-19 through the innovation of the sanitizer which was used in the spraying booths. she urged every innovator to go a step further by making sure they commercialize their findings and be job creators other than job seekers.

Her sentiments matched that of the Deputy Vice Chancellor- ARE- Prof. Gichangi who mirrored that the way forward is commercializing the innovation and translating the knowledge to help the community. He urged young innovators to be patient for the breakthrough is near.

The chairman of TUM council launched the Multidisciplinary Journal of TUM (MJTUM) and introduced the editorial staff lead by the chief editor Dr. Cosmas Munga. The idea to come up with a journal originated from the 1st Multidisciplinary Conference and innovation week of 2019 organized by the office of the Registrar Partnership, Research and Innovation. So far, the Journal has published Vol 1, issue 1 and 2. Its is important to note that the journal has already acquired a DOI number and ISSN number. Vol 2 of the journal is to be rolled up soon.

The first TUM research center christened (RECCReC) Renewable Energy & Climate Change and Research Center was also launched. This center is a brain child of Dr. Michael J. Saulo, the Registrar Partnership, Research and Innovation.

From right: TUM Council Chairman- Dr. Robert Arunga, The Director RECCReC (Renewable Energy & Climate Change Research Centre at TUM) – Dr. Ioannis Tsipouridis and Vice Chancellor Prof. Laila Abubakar at the official launch of Renewable Energy & Climate Change Research Centre.

The establishment of the (RECCReC) at the Technical University of Mombasa is premised on TUM’s Strategic Plan 2018 - 2022 which is aligned to the strategic priorities of the Government as espoused in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Vision 2030, the Third Medium Term Plan 2018-2022 and the Big Four Agenda among other policies. The Centre is established as a pioneering unit purposed to build the research infrastructure and develop an innovation eco system in TUM.

The Centre in TUM will act as the vehicle to address this challenge, by providing the ideas, the reasoning, the means, the tools and the solutions to a more sustainable world. TUM has to move to the future ahead of society in order to prepare the transition to a more sustainable world. TUM has become proactive and anticipative on the coming directions of change and is in a position to at least be part of the transition, if not influence it all together.

From Right: Dr. Michael J. Saulo, TUM Registrar – Partnership, Research & Extension (PRI), 3rd – Prof. Gichangi- TUM Deputy Vice Chancellor- Academic Research & Extension, 4th - Dr. Ioannis Tsipouridis – TUM Director of RECCReC and the Vice Chancellor- Prof Laila Abubakar at the Renewable Energy & Climate Change Research Centre.



For sustainable development to be implemented, much progress has to be made in the utilization of new and renewable energy technologies, environmental protection technology, ICT development, blue economy, land and forest restoration and sustainable agriculture.’