Science and innovation underpin the economies of both Kenya and the UK. Encouraging work between the two countries therefore produces benefits for both.
To promote international collaboration the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office jointly fund the UK Science and Innovation Network based in 31 countries around the world.
For an introductory brief which covers the local Science and Innovation landscape, UK priorities and successes in Kenya, read the Kenya Science and Innovation Network Country Snapshot.
Science and Innovation Country Background
Kenya has put science and innovation at the heart of its development strategy through having in place comprehensive legislations which seek to mainstream the application of science, technology and innovation in all sectors. Key among them is Kenya’s Vision 2030 which recognises the critical role played by Research and Development (R&D) and innovation in accelerating economic development. In 2013, the government passed the National, Science, Technology and Innovation Act, which among other provisions mandates a doubling of R&D government spending (from 1% of GDP in 2010 to 2%) and an increase in infrastructure spending. The country is becoming a leader in ICT innovation in Africa with examples of world class innovations emerging out of Kenya like commercialising of mobile money M-PESA which has led to increased understanding of the potential for innovation to deal with local problems. Multinational corporations are also setting up in Kenya to expand their own research reach continuing to position Kenya as an undisputed leader in African innovation.
UK Science and Innovation
In response to the growing excellence in Kenya, the UK’s Science and Innovation footprint has continued to grow. A range of UK government departments now work with Kenya to further science and innovation collaboration.
The Department for International Development’s Research and Evidence Division funds a range of multi-million pound research projects in Kenya and East Africa.
The Department for International Trade offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and helps companies in Britain increase their competitiveness through overseas trade in Kenya through offering professional, authoritative and personalised assistance to help companies in Kenya locate and expand in the UK
The British Council funds a range or relevant science and education-focussed activities such as researcher links and workshop grants for scientists.
In Kenya, SIN is based at the British High Commission in Nairobi. We work closely with other UK partners to strengthen UK’s research footprint, promote evidence based policy making and develop high quality and sustainable UK/Kenya science and innovation partnerships that focus on UK and Kenyan priorities.
The Newton Fund builds scientific and innovation partnerships with 16 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries. The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and delivered through 15 UK Delivery Partners, which include the Research Councils, the UK Academies, the British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office.
On July 19, the UK and Kenya formally launched the Newton – Utafiti fund. On the UK side, the Newton Fund is administered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) while on the Kenyan side , the Ministry of Education is the lead agency.
Science and Innovation Network
British High Commission, Upper Hill Road
P.O Box 30465 – 00100, Nairobi
Tel: +254 (0) 20 2844 085
Email: Serah Nderitu