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University-led Ecosystems for a Sustained Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development

Project Duration: March 2022 to August 2022

Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Ngoasong

Contact detail:

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Nicholas Ozor

Contact detail:

Grantor: British Council

Grant Amount: £ 20,000

Project Description:
This project will promote university-led ecosystems as anchoring institutions for delivering self-sustaining innovation and entrepreneurship education that contributes to Kenya’s development. Conceptualizing the partnerships within the IAU as anchoring institutions, we will investigate how their structures and operations can inform policies relating to entrepreneurial universities in Kenya. Our approach is informed by the need to promote the attainment of four UN SDGs. First, to strengthen the means of implementation of partnership for sustainable development (SDG 17).

Through multi-stakeholder dialogues we will explore how partnerships can be more impactful in influencing policies. Through in-depth discussions with representative technical leads, we will develop a model depicting how the IAU partnerships operating within Kenyan universities can be self-sustaining as regional innovation hubs that contribute to SDG 8 (decent work) in terms of improving the conditions of work and study in HEI and SDG 9 to promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Fourth, we will contribute methods for reinforcing quality education (SDG 4) by disseminating knowledge on how partnerships tackle administrative huddles concerning contracts, collaborative working and complex tensions that require cross-cultural learning. Finally, the dataset generated will be made open access for future research, thereby sustaining the project’s legacy.

Key Objectives and activities:

  1. To firm a framework for Open University, Riara University and African Technology Policy Studies Network to collaborate with members of the IAU community of practice in Kenya;
  2. To increase opportunities for partnerships among the relevant stakeholders in the HEI-Industry-Government (policy) ecosystem;
  3. To produce and disseminate original open access data for research publications by members of the IAU Community of Practice;
  4. To promote the use of evidence-based data in policymaking for entrepreneurship development in HEIs;
  5. To analyse the experiences of IAU partnerships in Kenya to uncover how university-led ecosystems can be brought together and evolve, as self-sustaining ecosystems in the context of entrepreneurial universities.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Greater awareness among IAU Community of Practice partnerships in Kenya, of the opportunities and challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa Higher Education Institutions in reinforcing their entrepreneurship education through multi-stakeholder partnerships involving UK HEIs and ecosystems partners.
  2. Reinforcement in the way research is conducted through more holistic responses to challenge-led themes.
  3. Recommendations on institutional strategies for supporting the development of innovative pedagogies, capacity building in higher education through university-led ecosystems.

Project output:

  1. University-led ecosystems for sustained innovation and entrepreneurship development in Kenya
  2. Access to research infrastructure for scientific / policy output (Policy Brief, Digital resources (Open Access data) for future academic publications
  3. Hold multi-stakeholder dialogues (focus group-style discussions).
  4. 20 individual interviews/discussions
  5. Hold policy webinars will be organized at the end of the research project at Open University and the IAU CoP respectively.
  6. Provide recommendations on institutional strategies for supporting the development of innovative pedagogies, capacity building in higher education through university-led ecosystems
  7. Final project report to the grantor. 
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