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NRF launches national research repository for Research Information

The National Research Fund (NRF) in collaboration with the British Council has launched the Kenya National Research Repository (NRR) that will serve as a central open access digital hub for the country’s rich research outputs.

The central platform themed ‘Digital Research Outputs, Empowering Innovations: Accelerating a Sustainable Research Ecosystem’ will enable people to access research information produced in Kenya in the thematic areas of Land, water and energy.

Speaking during the launch, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Higher Education and Research Dr. Beatrice Inyangala said the National Research Repository marks a significant step towards a training of what has been set out in the journey towards a knowledge best society in the realization of the national development goal.

She said that NRR embraces the potential of the transparency power of an open space repository and publishing movement that would make research available while engaging in a robust conversation with the development partner in a mechanism that enables awareness creation on the National Research Repository.

Inyangala added that NRR will also distract the capacity of such a repository to facilitate new and vast leadership, visibility and impact for the beneficiaries of NRF partners of such a project as well as research sponsored by the agencies.

“I wish to reiterate that the government is keen in adopting the policy of an open and access policy fund using public funds,” she said, and added that the commitment is rooted in the belief that public funded research should be accessible to all in order to maximize its impact by fueling innovation.

The PS reiterated the government’s determination to align with international agreement and policies that promote the digitalization of knowledge.

She further noted that the open and access movement is supported by a free international market which include the Berlin declaration on open access to knowledge in the sciences and humanities and UNESCO recommendation on object Science among others.

The PS while acknowledging all partners who have walked the journey with NRF by turning a dream of a National Database into a tangible reality said the platform will revolutionize the way people discriminate against research findings.

“An expanded hope of research as a country will provide an opportunity of advancing research to achieve the National development goal as articulated in the Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda which include healthcare, agricultural transformation, affordable housing and creative economy,” said the PS.

She noted that the repository will empower stakeholders across all sectors with the knowledge needed to drive the data leaving a sustainable economic development and social transformation besides enhancing the quality for health, education and research.

Inyangala who urged NRF to remain committed to the long-term success and sustainability of the repository, also called on stakeholders to support the repository to realize its noble, since collaboration will help in ensuring that the repository becomes a cornerstone in a pursuit of a knowledge driven economy.

“The government will allocate additional funds for its operation as well as other research activities to enable NRF to recruit requisite human personnel to coordinate the processes,” she assured.

Inyangala reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment in providing support to NRF in the journey, in order to harness the power and access to unlock the potential of the nation’s research and innovation.

In her remark, the Head of Education, British Council Monica Blagescu said  British Council is committed to build and improve international partnerships for research collaboration, knowledge exchange and scientific outreach, increasing trust and building long-term relationship  between researcher communities, policymakers and public audience since they focus on excellence, inclusivity and trust in research.

“In a context where much of the research in Kenya remains in analogue form, a digital open access platform can help break barrier to international collaboration by participating in international research projects and initiatives,” she stated.

She added that Kenyan institutions and researchers can leverage their expertise and resources to contribute to global knowledge and to address shared challenges.

Blagescu said that digitalizing knowledge and making it readily available will make the repository to improve its accessibility and help accelerate progress to the young entrepreneurs who will be inspired by research in accessing evidence to help them identify market opportunity and generate new ideas for new ventures that solve problems.

“Policy makers who will easily access and use evidence-based research will make informed decision and develop effective policies to address societal challenges,” she added.

Chairman National Research Fund Prof. Ratemo Michieka said NRF is looking forward to getting information that can be kept private, of which it will choose what must be protected and what will be going out.

“The resource for repository will serve as a dynamic platform for designation of knowledge and preservation of output for Kenya that can be shared,” he stated.

Prof. Michieka urged stakeholders to take note on Sustainable Development Goals Number 17 to enable them be informed of what must be shared and what must be protected, adding that Universities must make a difference by ensuring what they select is important to the Nation.

By Sharon Atieno and Bernadette Khaduli



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