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Inspiring Solutions
Konza Innovation Ecosystem Initiative
2017_07_31_Konza Technopolis
By Konza Technopolis, Year 2021 3rd place winner, located in Kenya
Keywords: networking
Main users: Wider community
Launch date: 
02 September 2019
Describe your solution in 50 words or less
Bringing together academia, industry, government and civil society within the Kenyan innovation ecosystem to grow the knowledge economy, it acts as a forerunner to the physical STP, simulating the interactions that will take place there.
What is the purpose of your solution
The KIEI was set up to link the different innovation ecosystems within the country to promote collaboration, and break the physical barriers through virtual interactions and activities. It seeks to build capacity of Kenyan youth to promote innovation by encouraging uptake of STEM subjects from an early age, supporting innovators in the creative economy, agribusiness, agritech, engineering, manufacturing and human health. The program also seeks to bring together startups, innovators, and the right ecosystem partners to address food security and affordable universal health care for the population, in addition to realizing home grown solutions for the country’s manufacturing sector. The program focuses on young Kenyans of both genders from a young age with the aim of moulding them and seeing them through the entire value chain. The involvement of Government and Civil society ensures the right policy framework is in place to allow innovation to thrive, while the private sector and academia ensure unlocking of capital, creation of demand and capacity building respectively.

What is innovative about it
Developed as a forerunner to the physical Konza Technopolis, KIEI simulates the activities and interactions that will take place there and has managed to connect areas of innovation, innovators and key stakeholders in the common goal of promoting science, technology and innovation. It improves the already existing physical innovation ecosystems by breaking the geographical barriers and piggy backing on the support and valuable Government foreign and local networks. Most of the programmes have been delivered virtually, and with the pandemic completely changing the dynamics, it is set to be a game changer in how the innovation ecosystem operates in Kenya.

What impact has your solution had
So far, the program has trained over 200 children aged from 9-15 on computer programming, with follow up during every school break, and trained over 200 innovators nationwide on design thinking, self-branding, and technology solutions to support and inspire them to grow their ideas into businesses. It has also run innovation challenges in the areas of health, agritech, smart cities and ICT where more than 20 startups have been created, supported by prize money, incubation and acceleration services to support their growth. The programme has also provided hardware to various innovation hubs and labs across Kenya to foster innovation and allow for collaboration with their colleagues around the country virtually.
Who are the main users
This program targets young people, innovators in tech, agritech, agribusiness, health and the creative economy, startups, and innovation hubs and labs in education institutions
Who runs it
The Konza Technopolis Development Authority developed the program and runs it under the Knowledge Economy and Innovation Division. The Program involves partnership with the Government, Private Sector and Academia.
For more solutions from IASP member Konza Technopolis click here