Capacity Building on Practical and Cluster Approach to Promote Regional Industrial Development

AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project is a Joint Initiative involving JKUAT, PAUSTI and JICA. In line with the one of the project’s goals, to develop human resources for industry development in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation, the project organizes for short-term and long-term training for JKUAT/PAUSTI students and staff to enhance their capacity.

Mr. Patrick Juma and Mr. Martin Mburu, Research Fellows in AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, had a chance to talk with Mr. Fredrick Omukubi Otswong’o, a beneficiary of short term training in Japan, on his experience, achievements and expectations from the short term training. The JKUAT Patent Drafting Officer, spent time in Toyohashi University of Technology (TUT), which runs a plant factory pilot site.

Prof. Oloko and Mr. Fredrick are taken through drone prototyping at TUT Aerospace Engineering Workshop

Mr. Juma & Mr. Mburu: Was the training useful to your work?

Mr. Fredrick: Yes, it was very useful. The training course I attended in Japan in October 2016 was called “Promotion of Regional Industrial Development using Cluster Approach Concept.”  It was quite   useful for our new Directorate of Intellectual Property Management and University-Industry Liaison.

What did you like most about the training?

The content/curriculum of the training and the spirit of “Monozukuri among the Japanese community.

What aspect of the training could be improved?

The duration. There is need to increase the duration to at least 6 weeks to allow full coverage of the content.

How do you hope to change your practice as result of the training?

I have altered my way of doing things since the training. I always embrace the principle of “Monozukuri”, consultation and collaboration in any project that I am involved. I apply the concept of clusters in intellectual property (IP) licensing and collaborations to maximize in resource utilization. Under IP management, we learned a number of strategies in prudent commercialization of IPRs, using patent and trademark systems with reference to Japanese technology and brands. If we can apply the same strategies in Kenya, it is possible to generate a lot of revenue from our local inventions and brands.

Any other comments

The training course I attended in Japan in October 2016 was very useful and need to be continued and spread over to a wider audience. The challenge to promotion of regional industrial development using cluster approach concept and MONOZUKURI-like spirit in Kenya is attitude, limited resources and lack of supportive policy framework at regional level.

The team joins other celebrants during the Toyohashi Festival