The Government has established the National Research Fund (NRF) and the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA). The two institutions were formed in pursuant to the provisions of the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, 2013.The agencies aim at realizing the objectives envisioned on research among other related programmes.
The Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA) role will be to manage the national innovation system for commercialization of innovations through the establishment of effective linkages between academia, research, government, industry and society. It will also oversee efficiency in management on national intellectual assets. While the National Research Fund (NRF) will mobilize resources, up to the 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, for funding research for the generation of new knowledge and advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The two institutions are to work closely with the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation, the regulator of the sector. NACOSTI will be involved in determining the areas of focus in research.
In July 2015, the United Kingdom under the Newton Fund pledged KES76, 300 (£700,000) annually to strengthen the science and innovation capacity in Kenya. The Newton Fund is part of UK’s official assistance with an overall Government funding of £75 million each year for five years after which it is expected to attract funding from partner countries, private foundations, multi-lateral organizations and corporate entities. The Fund is UK’s initiative to support science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and welfare of 15 partner countries.
The Fund will also enhance the development of the Kenya, South Africa UK’s research and innovation ecosystem – improving the capacity and skills of partner researchers and innovators and unlocking wider opportunities for collaboration.