NRF team at one of the National Institute for Optics and Lasers (NIOL) laboratories during a visit to assess implementation progress of the institute.
National Research Fund (NRF) has commended Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU) for prudent use of Infrastructural grant advanced to the institution by the research body.
Speaking at MMU during a visit to assess the implementation progress of the National Institute for Optics and Lasers (NIOL), NRF Ag. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jemimah Onsare said she was impressed by how the university has utilized the Infrastructural grant to set up the institute.
“I am happy to report that we have not recorded any grant management issue with MMU. I am also happy that you have a dedicated bank account for the grant. Some institutions have a general bank account that also handles the grants. This makes it difficult to support research activities on time,” said Dr. Onsare.
In 2018, MMU was awarded an infrastructural grant of KShs 65.9 million by NRF to set up the premier research and training institute for Optics and Lasers.
Dr. Onsare, who was also accompanied by NFR grant officer Mulatya Nzumbi, Kioko Mwania, and Jacob Njagi, said that the grant was a seed capital for MMU to set up the institute and create other avenues of income generation.
She, therefore, urged the university to look at existing skills and research gaps in the country and offer consultancy services through tailor-made programmes for the sustainability of the institute.
MMU Vice-Chancellor Amb. Prof. Festus Kaberia thanked NRF for their support adding that the university will continue to ensure that the grants received are used for their intended purpose.
Prof. Kaberia said that no country has ever developed sustainably with borrowed solutions adding that solutions to the country’s problems have to be homegrown.
On his part, NIOL director Prof. Geoffrey Kihara said that apart from partnerships, the institute is also preparing PhD programmes and short courses that will build the country’s human capital in the fields of Optics and Lasers.
Prof. Kihara also revealed that through that institute, two students: Sheilah Mukami Njoka, a 4th year student taking BSc in Applied Optics and Mr. Sylvester Munyao; a Masters student taking MSc in Applied Optics won a global one-year Amplify Optica Scholarship award for black students in Optics and Photonics. The two are among the fifteen awarded the scholarship this year.
Also, present was Deputy Vice chancellor Administration Finance and Planning Prof. Rosebella Maranga, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology Dr. Sitawa Wattanga, Registrar Academic Affairs Dr. Joash Mulabe, Ag. Registrar Research and Innovation Mr. Anderson Maina among others.
By Nicanor Ndiege