Research grants in Kenya

30.4.2014 Fabian Rendon

The government of Kenya under constitutional dispensations has a research grant that is aimed at improving the research, science and technology as part of overall national development. The national council of science and technology (NCST) is mandated to administer the science, technology and innovation (STI) grant through the constitution. This grant is targeted towards helping various people in the innovation and technology sector.

The projects eligible to funds by the grant include various research projects – innovation projects, women scientists projects, post graduate projects, doctoral research projects, extending the funding to bilateral matching grants and further offering research facilities and added support through scientific symposia and conferences.

There has been numerous numbers of research projects that have benefited from the grant and are intended to be part of the national development through the blueprints of vision 2030. The Kenyan ICT board also played a major role in financing innovation and start ups. Kenya has over the past few years seen a boom in the ICT sector and there are various factors that have contributed to this.

The exponential growth in the ICT sector; that even had multinational companies like Nokia and Samsung taking notice, has been influenced by the government and willing stakeholders’ involvement. The blueprint that is intended to guide the country to a middle income economy by year 2030 has emphasis on this achievement through the information and technology sector. The other factor responsible for this growth is the access to information and an influx in the numbers of IT graduates every year.

Therefore, these factors among others also inspired the ICT board to come up with a grant for ICT starts ups under the banner of the Tandaa digital content grant. The grant is aimed at helping start ups gain ground in the ICT markets. The grants are up to $50,000 for a company and $10,000 for individuals. These grants have helped start ups to set up shop especially the ones that are innovative enough to create solutions to some of the third world problems that affect countries like Kenya.

There are also a number of NGOs that fund research on science and technology but at times the grants are specified to a particular field. These too, have helped many people to conduct comprehensive research that is important to national development.

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