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Universities Promoting Linkages for Impactful Training, Innovation and Technology Transfer in Agriculture (UPLIFT-Ag)

Project Overview

Agriculture teaching higher education institutions (HEIs) in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe are expected to ensure high quality training, impactful research and effective transfer of knowledge and technologies. However, the HEIs effectiveness is severely limited by curriculum that is not well aligned to the needs of employers and use of ineffective teaching methods that lack interaction and roles for industry and business practitioners. In particular curricula lack content in critical knowledge and skills for employability and entrepreneurship, perspectives on research and innovation and commercialization of intellectual property. HEIs lack meaningful relationships with industry which would be necessary for effective teaching, research and technology transfer. The bureaucratic processes, inefficient management systems and structures, and poorly enforced policies cause low quality service delivery in HEIs, which puts off potential partners. Furthermore, HEIs lack the mechanisms and capacity to identify, protect and commercialize their intellectual property. Few HEIs have established incubation centers and technology transfer offices, and where existing, they operate sub-optimally.

The project on Universities Promoting Linkages for Impactful Training, Innovation and Technology Transfer (UPLIFT) in Agriculture (UPLIFT-Ag) aims to enhance the effectiveness of HEIs in the four countries in Africa (Table 2) by strengthening relationships with actors and stakeholders in agriculture industry, introducing improved methods of teaching agriculture with specific roles for industry in co-teaching activities, design of innovative curricula that enhance knowledge, skills and attitudes for employability and entrepreneurship, and building innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of the HEIs through establishment and strengthening the function of innovation incubation centers and technology transfer offices. This will be accomplished in partnership with HEIs in Germany, Italy and Denmark

Consortium of HEIs and country coordinators

Country

Institution

Project PI/country coordinator

Kenya             

Kenyatta University

Maina Mwangi

Chuka University

Shelmith Wanja Munyiri

Taita Taveta University

Mcharo Mwamburi

Zimbabwe

ZOU

Francis T. Mugabe

CUT

Robert Musundire

Rwanda

University of Rwanda

Nathan Taremwa

UNILAK

Christophe Mupenzi

Burundi

University of Ngozi

Valence Ndayisenga

University of Burundi

Willy Marcel Ndayitwayeko