Information Systems and Technology (IST) and Applied Computer Technology (APT) seniors and recent graduates from USIU-Africa and other universities around Africa, have an opportunity to join a 6-month skill development program. The program - dubbed AppFactory - is a collaboration between the School of Science and Technology (SST) and Microsoft Skills4Afrika. The AppFactory is designed to be an engine for development of skilled talents, capable of responding industry needs and effectively contributing to the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. The program is also expected to serve as a research and development lab for developing innovative ICT projects, and forming part of the digital transformation program for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Skills4Afrika Initiative is Microsoft’s business and market development engine in Africa launched in 2013, which aims to unlock and accelerate Africa’s potential as well as create technology not only for the continent, but for the world. The initiative focuses on world-class skills, access and innovation to empower people to turn great ideas into a reality, enhance livelihoods and accelerate Africa’s digital transformation. The School of Science and Technology uses the program to further prepare for, and link its Information Systems and Technology (IST) and Applied Computer Technology students with industry, as well as increase their employability, by giving them the skills to break down business problems and design solutions for industry partners using cutting edge technology.
2 Centre for Informatics Research and Innovation (CIRI)
The proposed Centre for Informatics Research and Innovation (CIRI) is operated by the School of Science and Technology (SST) at USIU. SST faculty members will work and collaborate with graduate students, other universities, research institutes, and businesses in Kenya, Africa, as well as other local and international research centers in the area of Information Systems, Technologies and Applied Science Research. As a leading research hub in East Africa, CIRI aims to:
•Identify and carry out research on critical problems of societal significance and develop innovative solutions through its Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs);
•Become a magnet for attracting and anchoring global research talent to USIU;
•Develop robust collaborations with researchers at local and international universities, research institutions and business industry;
•Engage in graduate education by co-advising local masters and doctoral students and post-doctoral associates;
•Help instill a culture of translational research, entrepreneurship and technology transfer;
•Help USIU students to compete in Information Systems and Technology innovations.
CIRI will work with industry with an aim to bring the market definition closer to technology development, by having each selected project worked on by a team that, in addition to the researchers, includes either an entrepreneur or a venture capitalist, or industrialist.