The Innovation for Development Hubs

Ten Universities from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda cooperating within the AHEAD project established Innovation Hubs – new structures that aim to provide physical working space, consultancy and support for stakeholder collaboration in research and innovation. The objectives of the Hubs are to:

  • Manage stakeholder input into research agendas and the design and delivery of curricula
  • Provide start-up and entrepreneurship support through consultancy or applied research (incl. for scaling of grassroots innovations and social entrepreneurship)
  • Organize start-up competitions for students/alumni with a view to encouraging the creation and scaling of enterprises
  • Organize mentorship schemes
  • Search and establish contacts with grassroots innovators and manage grassroots innovation initiatives and inclusive innovation projects
  • Explore the possibilities for transfer of technologies and university spin-offs, as well as other types of collaborations with research organizations and business
  • Support consortium building and project development and implementation in the field of research and innovation with a view to attracting funding
  • Organize training in innovation management and inclusive innovation
  • Implement further reviews of institutional innovation capacity and propose improvements

Click here to download the Directory of Innovation Hubs created by AHEAD partner universities.


The Inclusive and Grassroots Innovation Hub

Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

The Hub is a subset of the Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre, within the Division of Research, Innovation and Outreach. Its main activities include:

  • Training in Inclusive and Grassroots Innovation for both staff and students
  • Facilitating stakeholder’s engagement and networking to promote exploration of grassroot and inclusive innovation activities
  • Collating stakeholders’ (Internal and external) input to inform development of the hubs’ thematic area
  • Offering brainstorming space to facilitate idea formulation and improvement for incubation admission at the Innovation, incubation centre
  • Providing mentorship and consultancy services for innovation ideas
  • Networking and building collaborations around inclusive and grassroots innovation
  • Promoting community engagement forums and support communication links with the aim of nurturing entrepreneurship and sustainable development
  • Student start-up competition and pitching

Clich here to visit the Hub's webpage.




KIBU Innovation and Incubation Hub

Kibabii University, Bungoma, Kenya

The Hub is a section under the office of Directorate of Research, Consultancy and Extension in the Division of Planning, Partnerships, Research and Innovation. Its main activitites include:

  • Business Incubation and Mentorship
  • Business Development and Training Programmes
  • Business concept development and business plan writing
  • Corporate Solution
  • Work space and administrative support
  • Peer to Peer / Network-based Support
  • Talent Placement
  • Co-working space
  • Direct Consulting Services
  • Sector Agnostic Consultancy (Big 4 National Agenda Priority Areas)
  • Access to networks and partners
  • Investor matchmaking
  • Intellectual Property Management
  • Venture Financing
  • Legal and Contract-Related Matters
  • Business Start-Up and Idea Generation
  • University-Industry Linkage, Mentorship, Networks and Partnerships
  • Commercialisation of Innovations

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.




Makerere Innovation Hub

Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

The Hub is established and located at Albert Cook Library in the College of Health Sciences, which operates under the Main Makerere University Library services. It interacts closely with The Innovation Support Centre (TISC) started by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, and housed at the Makerere University Main Library. The Hub is set to:

  • provide access to research databases and to patent databases
  • help entrepreneurs in accessing support from external stakeholders in the business sector, through internships and business incubation
  • provide information literacy training to researchers and innovators
  • provide support to the community through training and access to the Innovation Hub, as external stakeholders
  • reach out to the business players to source for partnerships
  • establish partnerships with policy makers in the Parliament and in the line ministries to provide legal attachments in support of the activities of the Innovation Hub.

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.




CUEA-AHEAD Innovation Hub

The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

The Hub is a sub-structure within the existing Pope Paul VI Learning Resource Centre. Its area of activities include:

  • Networks and connections
  • New technologies
  • Technical and business talent
  • Mentoring, including encouragement, experience, and accountability support
  • Pathways to investment and customer revenue
  • Community of like-minded individuals at different stages in their journey

Furthermore, CUEA-AHEAD Innovation Hub is planned to become a leading Pastoral Innovation Hub for the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in East Africa (AMECEA) region, Africa and the world in coordinating pastoral issues dealing with the big data.   

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.





Kisii University e-Hub

Kisii University, Kisii, Kenya

The Hub is a separate unit in the university accessible to the School of Business and Economics as a key link and the Library. It is hosted at the Research and Extension resource room. 

The activities of the e-hub belong to the following areas: Research and innovation; Fostering entrepreneurship; Education and Training; Community engagement; Fundraising; and Partnering with business and policy makers.

The activities include:

  • conducting start-up competitions
  • entrepreneurship training for students
  • stakeholder training
  • implementation of mentorship schemes
  • filing proposals for funding from various sources

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.




DIT Innovation Hub

Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The Hub is a stand-alone lab within the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, located in the teaching complex at DIT Dar es Salaam Campus. The Hub is a platform which aims to help innovators from various fields, particularly Computer Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, to nurture and incubate their innovations. The activities of the DIT innovation hub include the following:

  • Business incubations
  • Entrepreneurship trainings
  • Provision of consultancy services to public and private organizations
  • Providing links between industry and DIT
  • Mentoring DIT innovators
  • Software development trainings
  • Provision of a platform for multi-disciplinary research and inclusive innovation by linking student with the community

Click here to read about the Hub. Click here to read about ongoing activities in the Hub.




SUZA Innovation Hub

The State University of Zanzibar, Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Hub is a sub-structure in the School of Computing Communication and Media, directly interacting with the Directorate of Postgraduate Studies, Research and Consultancy, which is responsible for issues related to innovation. The activities of the Innovation Hub involve:

  • managing stakeholders’ input in the research agenda and design of curricula
  • providing support for start-up and entrepreneurship
  • organizing start-up competitions
  • managing and enhancing contacts with grassroots innovators
  • providing training in innovation management and inclusive innovation
  • raising funds through application for grants.

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.




Disability Support Center

Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda

The Centre is a unit of its own under the office of the Vice Chancellor, but it is supported by the technical expertise from the Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation. It works closely with organisations of and for persons with disability to ensure disability inclusion. 

The Centre is a coordinating environment that is created to take care of the needs of students and staff at the University so that their special needs are met. It is also a one stop centre for disability related services:

  • Disability and special needs assessment
  • Guidance, counselling and mentoring
  • Disability assistive devices and support services such as Braille paper, Perkin Braillers, magnifying glasses, printing and photocopying for students
  • Auxiliary services such as sign interpreters, sighted guides, readers and support assistants
  • Monetized support depending on need
  • Referrals for further support where applicable
  • Coordinating with the academic units on the reasonable accommodation study needs of the students with disabilities
  • Coordinating with the Dean of students on the reasonable accommodation and welfare needs of students with disabilities
  • Coordinating with the Human Resources on the reasonable accommodation needs of staff with disabilities
  • Entrepreneurship promotion and Disability awareness raising 
  • Advocacy and Net-working

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.




Research and Innovations Lab

Lira University, Lira, Uganda

The Lab is a research facility for supporting innovation and creativity. It is part of the Library system and managed by library staff who report to an innovations hub / research commons committee of senate. The activities of the Lab include among others providing ICT services, electronic resources, software and research initiatives, systematic reviews, and entrepreneurship. The Lab as part of the library also promotes library activities like research training to include reference management, e-resources access procedures, etc. in addition to its main activities.

The main areas of activities include:

  • Training in innovation management and inclusive innovation
  • Reviews of institutional innovation capacity
  • Managing stakeholder input
  • Start-up competitions
  • Mentorship schemes
  • Contacts with grassroots innovators
  • Knowledge transfer and spin outs
  • Fundraising

Clich here to visit the Hub's webpage.




Innovation and Incubation Center (I-Hub)

Mount Kenya University, Thika, Kenya

The Hub is a sub-structure of the MKU’s Innovation Department.

The purpose of the Innovation Hub is to give an opportunity to internal and external stakeholders to provide their innovations that will lead to ground-breaking products and services. The innovations could include:

  • developing prototypes
  • scaling-up of new products, technologies, processes and services and
  • bringing them closer to the market for accelerated industrial and socio-economic development in the country

Click here to visit the Hub's webpage.