The final presentations of innovation research projects funded by the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project during the 2017 financial year, were held on 22-23 March, 2018 at the iPIC Building. The event saw researchers drawn from PAUSTI and JKUAT demonstrate the veracity of their research projects, including the accompanying findings. The projects were undertaken in the focus areas such as biotechnology, engineering, agriculture and Information Technology.
Speaking during the opening session of the presentations, AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project Manager, Prof. Martin Obanda said a total of 55 projects cutting across the four sub taskforces as well as interdisciplinary ones, were funded by the Project.
Prof. Obanda added that the innovation research projects had been subjected to monitoring and evaluation; that focused on among others: viability for patenting and commercialization, arising scientific publications and theses.
Since inception in 2014, the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project has supported approximately 50 research innovation projects annually; through a competitive funding scheme. In addition, the Project has extended seed money to PAUSTI students to facilitate early stages of various applied research projects.
While commending various presenters on their research work, JICA Chief Advisor to the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, Prof. Manabu Tsunoda said the main objective of the initiative was to support research capacity of PAUSTI and JKUAT towards African innovation.
He challenged the beneficiaries to continue leveraging existing frameworks, undertake quality research and disseminate findings in high impact outlets for greater usability and visibility.
Martin Owala, who addressed the event on behalf of the presenters, thanked JICA for the support, noting that research remains an expensive undertaking in Africa. He urged the Agency to continue supporting research in the continent for sustainable development.
AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project is implemented through five sub-taskforces, namely: Innovation and Prototyping Integrated Centre (iPIC); Innovation Centre for Bio-resources (iCB); Innovation Centre for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (iCMoB) and Innovative Open Data and Visualization (iODaV) and the Innovation Center for Product, Development and Commercialization (iPDeC).