IOP workshop in Kenya focuses on entrepreneurship for east Africa

11 December 2014

A workshop in Kenya on entrepreneurial skills for scientists and engineers from east Africa was organised by the IOP on 3-7 December.

IOP workshop in Kenya

Expert speakers addressed topics such as intellectual property rights, technology readiness levels and moving from invention to product. Group projects focused on societal challenges such as improving healthcare, electricity and irrigation and utilising solar cell and mobile phone technologies. Many participants were interested in introducing entrepreneurship into the curriculum of universities.

The workshop was held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and the majority of the 27 participants came from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with one from Rwanda. The main sponsor was the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, with co-funding from the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America (OSA), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and the Chandaria Foundation.

The OSA has offered £2,500 in seed funding for a project with the best potential, devised during the workshop or afterwards, for which only participants in the workshop are eligible.

The IOP’s international relations manager, Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan, said: “It was great to see the spirit of younger generations of scientists and engineers from Africa, who wanted to move away from traditional professions such as teaching and research and to explore opportunities in the area of innovation and technology transfer, and especially to use their scientific and engineering knowledge for societal benefits.”