|DRUSSA visits Moi University|
|Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:58|
During a visit by the ACU/DRUSSA team in February 2015 Moi University was able to show its progress in terms of Research Uptake, starting with University-Industry linkages and ending with using radio as a dissemination tool and everything in-between.
Mexican Marigold: Research and Innovation
An excellent example of University-Industry linkages is the Tami Dye project, situated on the main campus. This is a pilot demonstrator project exploring the use of marigold inflorescences as dye for textile manufacturing and which has the elements of applied sciences, biotechnology innovation, community involvement and industrial application.
The Centre purchases marigold inflorescences from farmers after which drying and crushing takes place and the dyes are packaged and stored. Colour matching, where various shades of colour are determined, is also done in the centre. The project has so far found eleven (11) shades of colours from the Mexican marigold dye. Italso prints patterns on materials and conducts laboratory tests such as colour-fastness and fabric strength.
Large scale production of the dye is done at Rivatex East Africa Limited, a company in Eldoret that was taken over by the University in 2007. The company had been dormant for over ten years after its collapse in mid-1990s. After takeover, it has been relying on dyes imported from Italy, India and South Africa.
TAMI Dye was developed from the weed, Marigold (Tagetes Minutas) after a three-year research project led by Moi University Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard Mibey, assisted by Rivatex Managing Director David Tuigong and researcher Billy Makumba.
Rivatex produces 20 kilometres worth of fabric per day and processes a wide range of products such as shirts, flannel and bed sheets. The company also does spinning, weaving, and processing of garments.
With the new product, operation costs has been lowered and the new development should also boost business in tailoring sector and cotton and marigold farming.
Working with the community
AMPATHis a Moi UniversityTeaching and Referral Hospital where the government of Kenya is working in partnership with a consortium of North American academic health centres led by Indiana University. It provides health care, research and health education through retrospective and prospective research.
Through the College of Health Sciences and AMPATH, there are Community Advisory Boards (CABs) established within the community to engage and give advice to the community. The hospital also works in the surrounding areas providing early treatment and home-based care and perpetual home care testing where counselling and testing are done in people’s homes.
To further cement Moi’s Research Uptake Programme Ampath has also introduced a requirement that any publications that are done by researchers should include a discussion on the impacts of the results of their findings.
Dr.Emmy Kipsoi Director, Institute for Gender Equity Research and Development gave a brief overview of the institute whose objective is to build capacity in gender mainstreaming. The institute provides mentorship projects across the country and conducts gender research, promoting both research and Research Uptake.
Gaining Faculty Support
Across the University there are many other initiatives which promote/ implement Research Uptake Programmes. For these to be successful they need the support not only of the Vice Chancellor, but also Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments. The DRUSSA team met with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Richard Mibey and briefed him on current and future DRUSSA activities.
DRUSSA also met with Deans, Directors, and Head of Departments responsible for the Research Uptake Action Plan of Moi University. The meeting brought together different disciplines responsible for executing the Action Plan and also highlighted the support given by DRUSSA in Research Uptake activities. The deans, directors and heads of departments gave inputs on their schools and departments in relation to Moi University’s Research Uptake Action Plan, indicating that they were ready to help engage, support and implement the Plan.
Broadcasting to the Community
The DRUSSA team also visited Moi University FM studio. The radio station was started in December 2009 as a tool for giving practical skills to media students before they work in the industry. The station also acts as an outreach tool by Moi University to broadcast to the community. Moi University also runs a TV Station - Kenya Television Services (KTS). KTS was opened and launched in December 2014 as a news channel in Kenya. The television station collects and disseminates news and other programmes to the community.
The visit to Moi University was an enlightening one where the ACU/DRUSSA team found a commitment to Research Uptake at all levels of the University.
This article was written by Ms Silvia Matum (Research Assistant) and Mr Daniel Rop (Web Developer) both based in the Research Office at Moi University