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SBS Launches Bio-entrepreneurship program

  Nov 27, 2013

Strathmore Business School together with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) have come together to develop a Bio entrepreneurship program that aims to link the two institutions on research and academia.

The two organizations have partnered to offer a new program that targets entrepreneurs, investors, innovative scientists and science, technology & innovation (STI) decision makers to build capacityin entrepreneurship and innovation management for successful commercialization of research outputs in the biotechnology industry.

The launch which was attended by the permanent secretary of Industrialization and Enterprise development Dr. Wilson Songa , the head directorate of preventive and promotive health services Dr. William Maina who represented the PS of health Hon James W. Macharia amongstscientists, industrialists, engineers and investors with an interest in the life sciences.
The theme for the Launch was “Life sciences research and development and the knowledge economy- the new engine for growth” Dr William Maina Mentioned “life sciences are a jewel in the crown of our economy. It has consistently shown stronger growth than any other sector. But the importance of life sciences is not just about its size; it’s about its nature.”

He further Mentioned “The ministry of health will work together with the two institutions to ensure that great discoveries happen right here in Kenyan laboratories, new technologies born here in Kenyan startups and proven in Kenyan Hospitals and Facilities”

Currently information asymmetry presents the largest obstacle to creating a local knowledge driven-economy whereby the local research institutions and universities strive to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to local health, agricultural and environmental problems, but many of these solutions remain hidden in highly technical language and isolated in ivory towers. Meanwhile, the local financial and commercial sectors remain import-oriented, committing the precious few national resources towards acquiring foreign technologies such as drugs and vaccines, leading to increased dependency on donor-support.

The development of a local knowledge economy would result in the creation of value chains with a multiplier effect in regards to the number of livelihoods generated leading to positive contribution to the national balances of trade with a positive impact on the overall costs of living, elimination of poverty-related diseases which will in return reduce government health expenditure and increase the revenue collection base for government leading to increase in wealth among the public, among other positive feedback cycle results.

The Permanent Secretary of Industrialization and Enterprise development Dr. Wilson Songa mentioned “We as Kenyans should strive to promote our own products and innovations, the Jua kali sector needs our support. They are the real entrepreneurs. Promoting innovation in our country will relate to positive changes in regions.”

The Bio-entrepreneurship Executive Program therefore serves to bridge the gap between the “noble” world of pure science and the more “pragmatic” world of profit-driven enterprise. To do this, the program facilitates a meeting of the minds by enlightening scientists and key decision makers at the helm of scientific organizations on how to attract financing for development and commercialization of scientific discoveries and inventions, on the one hand, and enlightening entrepreneurs and financiers on how to evaluate the invention’s technical and fiscal viability.

Towards this end, the Strathmore Business School’s philosophy in which the Bio-entrepreneurship Executive Program is anchored, serves to develop and equip leaders within the triple helix(academia, private sector and government), with both the skills and ability to transform the region through innovation in the life sciences/biotechnology industry.

About Bio-entrepreneurship Executive Program :

The bio-entrepreneurship program is an executive course developed by KEMRI and SBS for the express purpose of empowering scientists and science, technology & innovation (STI) managers to successfully commercialize life sciences (health and agriculture technologies) emerging from indigenous Research and development.

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