INNOVATION AND MANUFACTURING

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The manufacturing sector is very crucial in the economic growth and development of a country .It also creates employment opportunities.
Aware of the opportunities that abound in the manufacturing sector, Laikipia county government held its inaugural Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair on 30th and 31st May 2018 in Nyahururu stadium.
The Fair brought together 205 innovators from the different parts of the county with the aim of the establishing original Laikipia brands, link the bearer innovators to market and financiers as well as guiding them on patenting.
The Fair also brought 15 partners representing different institutions who promised to partner with the county government to ensure local innovators acquire training and support .
A total of 205 innovators had registered on an online platform that had been launched for registration, while some of them manually submitted their application forms. A rigorous exercise was thereafter initiated to identify the original ideas and innovations developed in Laikipia. Fifty of them made it to the finals and got the chance to showcase their ideas and products clustered in five thematic areas of energy, water, manufacturing, agriculture and Information Communications Technology (ICT).
His Excellency Governor Ndiritu Muriithi officially opened the Fair while Professor Nick Wanjohi, the Head of Department of political science at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
In his speech Governor Muriithi said the innovations exhibited during the fair if polished can compete in the global market. He asked Laikipia people to support their own by buying local manufacture products.
Professor Wanjohi said that manufacturing industry carries the highest employment globally and underlined the need to have the sector accorded massive support to export finished products as well as create employment.
A country is classified as developed when manufacturing becomes its mainstay in its economy, Professor Wanjohi pointed out.
All the 205 innovators who had registered for the fair would be offered training opportunities as highlighted in the fair. The partnering institutions together with the county government promised to support the innovators at various capacities.
Laikipia County Government
The department of Environment to purchase two Tuk Tuks, pick-up types from Samuel Gatonye.
Two water companies Nyahuwasco and Nawasco shall also purchase a Tuk Tuk each.
The County Government shall also offer managerial support to one of the innovators.
The innovation and entrepreneurship shall be conducted annually.
A full time committee shall also be set aside dedicated to work with the innovators.
There will be Monitoring and evaluation of innovations.
Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC)
Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) made commitment to incubate 6 innovators under their incubation program for one year at a cost of $15,000.
The six are:
Agri-flora Organic Solution, this is the organic fertilizer producing firm in Nyahururu.
Api-Bio this is a bee keeping farm in Marmanet.
Laikipia Permaculture, famously known for their production of wine and other products from the Opuntia Cactus in Laikipia North.
Francis Merinyi the Opuntia Bio gas producer in Mukogondo East Laikipia North, Equitorial Energy Biogas in Nanyuki and the Organic Pesticides producer in Thingithu.
The key support services that they will be offered include:
Advisory services.
This includes supporting the innovators in strategy development, advice on staffing, marketing strategy development and implementation support, training to build enterprise staff capacities in finance, investor readiness, marketing, book keeping, branding, Human resource, taxation etc.
Access to finance support.
The innovators will be supported to access POC (Proof of concept financing) a grant of up to $50,000 if they meet the criteria set out for the recipients. KCIC also has an in-house commercial fund-the Early stage financing mechanism (ESFM)- that supports entrepreneurs to access affordable OPEX and CAPEX financing through equity, debt and convertible debts instruments.
Access to Information.
Most enterprises lack access to quality information that impedes their qualitative decision making abilities. To help enterprises secure relevant opportunities and make key decisions that will have positive impacts on their businesses, KCIC have partnerships with KIRDI and other Government bodies working with the SMEs and in the innovations space to ensure that all incubates have the necessary support system for them to grow their businesses.
Access to office and testing facilities.
KCIC has hot desks where enterprises can work from. Facilities for them to work, interact, hold meetings and sometimes meet potential investors are provided in their offices. In addition, KCIC supports these entrepreneurs to have their innovations undergo testing to meet the expected industry standards. This cost is shared between the enterprises and KCIC.
Policy support.
Innovators that require support to influence policies that work against their innovations-KCIC works with other ecosystem stakeholders to influence policies within the national and county governments.
KCIC also invited a number of innovators from the just concluded Laikipia innovation fair to participate in the Climate Launch pad competition. The selected companies will be trained in a boot camp for two days and have a chance to compete in the national finals and the three best companies will be supported to compete at the grand finals in Scotland this year.
Access to Information.
Most enterprises lack access to quality information that impedes their qualitative decision making abilities. To help enterprises secure relevant opportunities and make key decisions that will have positive impacts on their businesses, KCIC have partnered with KIRDI and other Government bodies working with the SMEs and in the innovations space to ensure that all the innovators have the necessary support system for them to grow their businesses.
Access to office and testing facilities.
KCIC has hot desks where enterprises can work from. Facilities for them to work, interact, hold meetings and sometimes meet potential investors are provided in their offices. In addition, KCIC supports these entrepreneurs to have their innovations undergo testing to meet the expected industry standards. This cost is shared between the enterprises and KCIC.
Policy support.
Innovators that require support to influence policies that work against their innovations-KCIC works with other ecosystem stakeholders to influence policies within the national and county governments.
KCIC has also invited a number of innovators from the Laikipia innovation fair to participate in the Climate Launch pad competition. The selected companies will be trained in a boot camp for two days and have a chance to compete in the national finals and the three best companies will be supported to compete at the grand finals in Scotland this year.

Laikipia University
Committed to offer Technical assistance to Laikipia County Government, marketing the innovators to wider markets and also offering knowledge partnership to aid and facilitate in research.
Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI)
Committed to offer incubation to innovators by offering space at their incubation centers.
Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC)
Offered to provide exhibition space for innovators in the Nairobi Innovation week at UON.
It shall also offer funding to manufacturing enterprises.
Chandaria Business Innovation Center
Shall offer a training module for the 205 innovators outreach program.
Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs)
Shall offer advisory and training to innovators on standards.
Also send technical staff to Laikipia to assist innovators.
Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI)
Shall help in registering all the 50 innovators.
It shall protect farmers in grops and register geographical indications.
KCB Foundation
Shall offer long term financial support to the innovators.
Shall facilitate engineers in training Samuel Njogu the Tuk Tuk guy.
ICT Authority
Offered to train 50 Trainers of Trainees (ToT) on online jobs before the end of June.
Equity Foundaion
offer financial support to the innovators.
Kimathi University
Shall offer engineers who will train innovators in the manufacturing sector.
Their Vice Chancellor promised to buy one Tuk Tuk.
KBC
Shall help in marketing innovators.
Amsoft
Shall help Samuel Gatonye automate his Tuk Tuk by checking weight and tracks.
KIM
Shall offer training to the 50 finalists on business planning.
Innovation success stories
Agri-flora Organic Solution, this is the organic fertilizer producing firm in Nyahururu.
Api-Bio this is a bee keeping farm in Marmanet.
Laikipia Permaculture, famously known for their production of wine and other products from the Opuntia Cactus in Laikipia North.
Francis Merinyi the Opuntia Bio gas producer in Mukogondo East Laikipia North,
Equitorial Energy Biogas in Nanyuki
The Organic Pesticides producer in Thingithu.
Tuk TUK , pick-up type by Samuel Gatonye.
A helicopter prototype
A two-wheel planter
An integrated business convergence application and ;
A Tomato juice processing model, among others.

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