Last week the Nairobi University Town campus hosted the 3rd Edition of Nairobi Innovation Week. The main aim of this year’s Innovation week was to bring together various key players in the society (public and private stakeholders; local and International innovators) to showcase innovations and concepts that can be used to improve livelihoods and grow the economy.
Lets’ begin by defining what’s invention and innovation.
Invention is about creating something new while innovation introduces the concept of ‘use’ of an idea or method. Some dictionaries go ahead to define an invention as a thing while innovation as an invention that causes a change in behavior or interactions.
But how then do we turn inventions to innovations?
1.Access to Funding
As a student, you must always be on the lookout for possible opportunities to funding your invention. This is the beginning of every innovation and is a vital part of its growth. You will need access to funds for you to carry out and fine tune research findings as well as bring your ideas and concepts to life.
Speaking during the symposium, Dr. Chris Kirubi urged the Universities to be entrepreneurial. They must innovate to finance themselves so as not to depend on Government funding for their day to day affairs and let innovation define their future development.
Varsities should be keen to partner with the Private sector, financial institutions, and other opportunities so that students can be able to access funding.
2.Enroll In Technical Courses
Technical courses will enable you to gain the right skills towards becoming an innovator. These are courses that are leaned towards building your individual skills and hands-on crafts that prepare you for entrepreneurship if not immediate employment as you put the practicals to practice.
By having more students enroll for these courses, the Universities on the other hand will be producing innovators to the world. Individuals who will be job creators and not job seekers.
You must embrace technology in order to succeed in the modern world. The current world is digital and everything is online. As a young inventor ensure that your innovation is lined towards the use of technology. You may have the best idea or concept but if it is not in line with technology, it might not bear fruit.
Varsities must also adopt technology in their model of teaching and coaching in order to keep abreast with the ever changing trends. Modern technology makes learning easier and more interactive by opening up the rest of the world to the students.
4.Integrate Practical Skills Into Curricula
As a student make sure that what you learn in theory you put into practice. Try and go an extra mile to look for opportunities to gain practical skills. If your school doesn’t provide an opportunity to do so, do it for yourself as this will benefit you in your future career and entrepreneurial world.
The Universities can help in this by making sure they integrate into their curricula entrepreneurial education and training to assist you to to gain the practical skills you need.
The innovation week just ended. Keep working on your inventions to make them innovations that will shape and create a better future. For varsities, let’s hope that the teaching model will improve from the traditional passing down of knowledge to producing entrepreneurs.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Millicent Abila.