This Project represented Phase II of an upgrading, revitalization and modernization project of the Kenya Industrial Research & Development Institute (KIRDI). Phase I, implemented between October 2008 and November 2009, focused primarily on capacity building of senior policy makers of the Government of Kenya and KIRDI’s top management, exposing them to various aspects of technology development and R&D institutions in India. Building on the insights of the phase I project, the objective of the project was to promote technology upgrading in selected MSME sectors in Kenya (such as the metals and electronics sectors). The activities of the project focused building the institutional capacity of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) and the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), towards improving their service provision to MSMEs in an integrated and harmonized manner.
The activities of the project included:
- Enhancement of product design capability pf KIRDI through the increased application of CAD/CAM: This was achieved through training for technicians, trainers, entrepreneurs, engineers and cooperatives on improved technologies, machineries and tools.
- Procurement of essential equipment for the Metrology and Calibration Lab and the Engineering Design and Service Centre at KIRDI.
- Provision of holistic business support services to prospective Kenyan suplliers in the metal and electronics sectors through the Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX) Programme.
The key achievements of the project are:
- The capabilities and capacities of KIRDI were upgraded through the following technical training programmes:
- 3 hands-on training programmes for KIRDI personnel (4 weeks for 2 trainees, 8 weeks for 2 trainees and 4 weeks for 2 trainees) at the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association (IMTMA), India.
- Installation of CAD/CAM software along with attendant training
- Training-of-trainers for 9 KIRDI staff members by Indian expert.
- Training programme for 21 individuals from 13 SMEs, delivered by trained KIRDI personnel under the supervision of an Indian expert.
- Achievements of the SPX programme:
- Provision of Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX) profiling services to over 250 domestic enterprises, with detailed firm-level data uploaded on a dedicated SPX Management information System.
- Investment upgrading plans developed for 35 selected enterprises based on comprehensive performance and practice benchmarking.
- The SPX programme mobilised locally available support institutions (including KIRDI, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and financial institutions) for addressing the gaps identified in the profiling exercise.
- Provision of continued support to 10 selected SMEs based utilizing the tooling and testing facilities at KIRDI that were upgraded under the project.
- SPX support to domestic companies in B2B sessions organized with incoming delegations from Mauritius (4 companies), South Korea (10 companies) as well as with Turkey (5 companies). In addition, 8 companies forwarded to Embassy of China to attend Hunan-Africa International Industrial Cooperation Conference & Business cross-border Networking event in China.
A partnership agreement between KIRDI and the SPX host institution KenInvest was formalized in March 2017 to guarantee project sustainability.