Welcome to the 1st TUM Multidisciplinary Conference and Innovation Week. This conference welcomes academics, researchers, practitioners and innovators from different disciplines, for knowledge exchange and networking. It will offer a forum for academics and researchers to showcase research processes and methodologies that are aligned to the conference theme. It will also provide an opportunity for practitioners and innovators to demonstrate how their innovations are changing the world.
The Government of Kenya is focusing on four critical pillars, christened, the Big Four Agenda, to achieve its sustainable developmental agenda. These are food security, affordable housing, affordable healthcare and job creation through manufacturing. The Big Four Agenda is in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Kenya’s Vision 2030.
THEME OF THE CONFERENCE
TUM Multi-Disciplinary Conference will bring together researchers, scholars, innovators, and entrepreneurs from international and local universities and industry to showcase research and innovations. It will discuss contemporary phenomena shaping human development from multiple vantage points.
The theme of the conference is “Re-engineering technical Education for the Big Four Agenda”.
Sub Themes are:-
The First TUM multidisciplinary conference is embedded in the TUM research policy direction that is realized through four main policy objectives. These are:
Development of a Research Culture at the University
A culture of research requires both institutional –and unit based leaders to set clear research goals and communicate them effectively. Institutions wishing to develop a culture of research must allocate significant resources for faculty training and support. A developing culture of research requires open and collaborative personal relationship among faculty members and, this must be nurtured. To implement cultural change, administrators must be prepared to tailor resource allocation based on faculty member’s current motivation and abilities. A culture of research may take long to develop and, once established, require regular maintenance. Plans for a culture of research should include consideration of student involvement. When this culture is embedded in the university operations and activities then it enhances research output and publications
Publishing academic papers is recognized as vital not only for career advancement of individual researchers but also for the standing, ranking and recognition of the university. Academic publishing is the most visible result of research activities and an essential medium for the dissemination of knowledge. Where these academic papers are published as well as the citation rates of the papers are key indicators of research scope and quality. One of the principal weaknesses that TUM has established is inadequate number of publication produced by staff members and students annually as well as lack of adequate mechanism for collecting, recording and monitoring the publication output of the institution. To address these problems following strategies shall be applied:
Promotion of Innovation and Extension
Universities the world over exist to promote creativity and innovation. While creativity refers to generation of new ideas, innovation on the other hand is the translation of the ideas generated into a finished product, service or method of production. For a culture of creativity to thrive, the University must create a conducive atmosphere for its employees to motivate them to seek new ways of doing things, particularly at this time when our customers have become more sophisticated, segmented and demanding hence, heightened expectations in terms of customization, newness, quality and price. In a world where competitors constantly improve their services, good ideas are quickly copied and replicated elsewhere, continual pressure to devise new and better products, processes and faster and efficient delivery of services cannot be gainsaid. Innovation and new technology transfer therefore, offer plenty of opportunities for employment and wealth generation, both benefits which research must pursue
Establishment of Collaborative Research Linkages
Research undertakings require massive investment in terms of human resources and equipment. Such resources are scattered in many universities and research institutes. To ensure such resources are utilized effectively, there is need to promote collaborative research and linkages. Working relationships in such ventures can be harmonized through memorandum of understanding signed among and between collaborators. This arrangement is a sure way to sustain such relationships. Collaborative research, connecting industry with university researchers is vital for TUM’s prosperity. Large amounts of excellent research take place in universities and research institutions, but the country does less in connecting industry with research to turn the outputs of research into goods and services –improving peoples’ lives. Universities future competitiveness will thus depend on collaborative research across disciplines and sectors for survival
Transfer of technology is specifically linked to the movement of a specific set of capabilities. Technological learning and innovation are essential for economic growth and development and are major determinants of long-term improvement in income and living standards. To the developed world, technological progress involves the generation of knowledge that can be used for productive activity. For developing countries, technology progress is strongly influenced by their ability to access, adopt and diffuse technological knowledge generated elsewhere. Since technology transfer is essential for development this should be propagated through:
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Prepared Dr. Michael. J. Saulo
Registrar, Partnership, Research and Innovation