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UNEP, INTEL Partner to Launch Internet of Things

Date and time: 
Mon, 2016-02-22 15:18

Intel and UNICEF have partnered with School of Computing and Informatics’ Computing for Development Lab (C4DLab) to launch a design thinking school, Internet of Things (IoT). Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects, devices, vehicles, buildings and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

Design thinking on the other hand, is a human centered approach to innovation that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

Internet of Things is a programme that aims to contribute to the innovation lab hosted by the School of Computing- Computing for Development Lab (C4DLab). C4DLab trains, develops innovation products for incubation and hosts an innovation acceleration programme, Africa Technology and Innovation Accelerator (AfTia). “The innovation lab provides a framework to cater for the vast projects undertaken by students which forms the basis of solving societal problems,” says Dr. Tonny Omwansa, C4DLab coordinator. 


“More than half the population of Africa is youth. With the challenge of unemployment, the youth armed with technology can solve some of Africa’s problems, said Danie Steyn, Intel East Africa Country Manager. Steyn urged the youth to not only look in their community to solve problems, but to look into solving Africa’s problems as well.

United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is proud to partner with University of Nairobi’s Intel of Things whose innovation, it attests, will add value to the most deprived population, the children. A cause that the organization is passionate about. UNICEF’s Chief of Social Policy, Ousman Young, commended the partnership, saying  “the partnership will contribute to steer the youth into community development solutions.”

UNICEF recently launched an innovation fund. Norah Maki, UNICEF’s Academic partnerships lead- innovation unit noted that innovation will enhance leadership and innovation for the youth posing a great opportunity to invest in infrastructure and sustainable development. 

While launching Intel of Things, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Prof. Henry Mutoro, who was speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor congratulated the 12 startups which have been admitted to Internet of Things. In his speech, Prof. Mbithi highlighted innovation as a transformative effect in the country and in the world. He said that having selected 12 out of 160 startups signifies that the University will receive good ideas from a committed team, which will further contribute to innovations that will impact people. Prof. Mbithi affirmed the University’s continuous support to nurture and support innovation noting that the startups will be given an opportunity to exhibit at the Nairobi Innovation Week. Nairobi Innovation Week is an annual showcasing of innovations and inventions by various players in the Kenyan economy, hosted by the University of Nairobi. Innovation week brings together stakeholders from the Government, Private sector and individual innovators and is scheduled to take place in the first week of August 2016.

The goal of the “Design Thinking for IoT” program is to develop user centric sound innovations in Media, Environmental monitoring, Infrastructure management, Manufacturing, Energy management, Medical and healthcare systems, Building and home automation, Transportation among other areas that can be absorbed into the incubation and accelerator programs such as (AfTIA) and be developed into viable businesses.

AfTia, was launched in November 2015 and is presently incubating four startups in agriculture, social, transport and education. AfTia aims to be the global reference point in developing scalable IT-based enterprises for sustainable development.  Graduation for the startups is set for March 2016, where the winning startup will receive a seed capital of Ksh.100,000.00.

Roy Allela, a fourth year Bachelor of Science Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation student, from the School of Physical Sciences University of Nairobi is an intern with Intel. Allela is the brain behind face recognition using intel realsense technology. He says that his team is presently working on improving features and applications to enhance the face recognition technology. “This technology can be used for security applications, authentication in houses, gaming technology and 3D scanning, “ Allela adds. It can also be used in hospitals where hygiene is of utmost important and this is availed by the non-touching feature but effective use of face recognition. Allela says that the technology is very accurate and can be used to solve problems of identity theft.

Roy Allela, a fourth year Bachelor of Science Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation student

Danie Steyn, Intel East Africa Country Manager

Expiry Date: 
Thu, 2017-02-16 15:18

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