Nokia and the University of Nairobi launch Innovation Labs.
This has to be one of the most exciting developments for Kenya in regards to developing world-class mobile software services and products! Earlier today, Nokia Research Centre Africa (NRC-Africa) and the University of Nairobi’s School of Computing & Informatics (SCI) jointly launched a Research and Sub-contracting Lab as well as a Usability Lab at the Chiromo Campus.
This exciting initiative is the culmination of a strategic partnership between NRC-Africa and SCI which has been facilitated through funding from Nokia to build student capacity at SCI, through the SUCA project. This has also included the training of two SCI staff members in Finland on software sub-contracting management including ICT project management.
The purpose of these two labs is to enable the University of Nairobi to to:
- Provide training to students, and local software development houses on ICT Project Management, Subcontracting Best Practices
- Undertake contracted software application and prototype development
- Undertake Academia research and contracted research
- Conduct usability testing/evaluation both for in-house developed software and contracted
In addition to the two labs, the SCI boardroom has also been refurbished and modernized to provide a conducive atmosphere for potential clients. Impressively, the SCI already has the following projects in place for the new labs:
- NRC-Africa: Design and development of a large prototype that includes a core application and mobile client
- Pajat Management Oy, Finland: Prototype testing, end-user training and provision of technical support
- Stanford University (USA) / University of Nairobi / NRC-Africa: â€“ Design-thinking driven prototype development project, with the role of conducting needs findings and analysis.
- Helsinki Institute of Information Technology (HIIT): Upcoming Nairobi Sizzle Project which is a a social media application for Nairobi to be deployed in October 2010 as a research project.
- Kenya Data Networks (KDN): Research and Development work which is currently at the inception stage.
Apart from all these projects, there is lots of research being undertaken at the SCI. SCI offers the following courses:
- Diploma in Computer Science
- BSc in Computer Science
- MSc in Information Systems
- MSc in Computer Science
- MSc in Applied Computer Science (R&D degree)
- Phd in Computer Science
- Phd in Information Systems
One important goal for the NRC-Africa and SCI labs is to better prepare University of Nairobi students for workplace by providing them with real world experiences whilst still undertaking their studies. The other goal for the labs is to enable NRC-Africa and SCI enhance engagement with the ICT industry in Kenya and beyond. Pictures from the launch event can be viewed here>