1. MULTISECTORAL CONFERENCE RATIONALE AND AIM
1.1 Multisectoral Conference Rationale
As many as 828 million people in the world still go hungry or are undernourished. Even more alarming is that from 2019 to 2022 (a period of just three years), the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million, a crisis driven largely by conflicts, disasters, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is thus apparent that the State of Food Security and Nutrition is worsening as the world moves backwards in its efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. As postulated by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030. The severe situation is compounded by the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has lowered global expectations to the worst with regard to Food and Nutrition Security as well as Public Safety and peaceful co-existence taking cognizance that the two countries are major global producers and/or suppliers of staple cereals, oilseeds, fertilizer, energy, and ready-to-use therapeutic food for children with severe malnutrition. Of additional global concern is the threat of use of bioweapons by state actors and non-state actors, as well as misuse of pesticides, chemicals and poisonous products in food production systems. Unprecedented technological advancements, regional conflicts and uncontrolled cross-border business enterprises have created a volatile global environment never seen before. This necessitates new approaches to international collaboration, intense scrutiny of emerging technological advancements, and a refocus.
It is now widely agreed that deliberate and intense investments in science, technology and innovation (STI) provides the only apolitical platform or subway to mitigate global decadence. Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) can accelerate the transformation of food systems and security/public systems so that they become more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. It is against this background that the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), jointly with the National Research Fund (NRF), and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) have organized the 2nd Multisectoral Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation.
1.2 Aim of the Conference
Scientific and technological advances have long been recognized as engines of economic growth and prosperity. In modern times, scientific knowledge and technological development provide the basis for major contributions to the innovation process, and hence holistically advancing or enhancing public safety and health, national security, foreign relations, and inclusive sustainable development. It is said that Governments will find it difficult to raise living standards, prosperity, national security, public safety, health, and environmental harmony in a sustained manner, if they cannot find better, cheaper, and smarter ways of producing goods and bringing them to the market or publics.
The 2nd Multisectoral Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation aims to facilitate a multifaceted forum of national discourse to chart Kenya’s technology-driven and innovation-led inclusive sustainable development agenda. The Conference will also provide an international platform for sharing best practices and networking in areas of STI based Public Safety, Climate Change mitigation, Environmental preservation, among others.
The multi-faceted Conference forum will comprise an inter-ministerial High-Level Dialogue on “Infusion of STI into National Production and Security Systems”, a scientific and technological discourse on “STI in leadership, advocacy and Diplomacy in transformational Digital Economy”, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Exhibitions on “practical solutions to current challenges of humanity”, and Science and Technology Education Week for “the next generation STI Workforce”. By so doing, the Conference seeks to positively impact on: productivity, national security, public safety, inclusiveness, as well as efficiency of human engagement, food and nutrition security, climate change mitigation, adoption of best practices on environment management, and establishment of quintuple helix linkages to leverage producer-consumer- regulator relationships. the Conference will enable key decision makers to chart new pathways of inclusive sustainable development, grounded on updated knowledge systems that can accelerate the creation, diffusion and adoption of science, technology and innovation.
2. MULTISECTORAL CONFERENCE DETAILS
2.1 Multisectoral Conference Theme, Dates, Venue and Format
Cognizant of the importance of multi-sectoral synergies in fast-tracking sustainable development in a disrupted world and with the aim of rabblerousing silos the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) jointly with the National Research Fund (NRF) and the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) will organize a weeklong conference at the Safari Park Hotel. The theme of the Conference is “Harnessing Science, Technology and Innovation for Food Security and Public Good in a Transformational Digitized Economy”. The Conference will be from 23rd to 26th May 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya at the renowned Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.
The format of the Conference will be hybrid involving both in person actors and virtual participation. The conference will be in four strands or streams or tracks viz.: (i) an Inter-Ministerial High-Level Dialogue Serie where Keynote Speakers/Lead discussants will give keynote lectures and also lead discussions on topical issues pertaining to the infusion of science, technology and innovation into national production and security systems; (ii) Scientific and Technological Presentations/Discourse where scholars, researchers, innovators, inventors, and professionals will make scholarly/professional presentations and participate in panel discussions (Deadline for submission of full papers is 5th May 2023); (iii) Science, Technology and Innovation Exhibitions where MDAs, innovators, and inventors exhibit impacting developed or deployed technologies and innovations; and (iv) Science and Technology Education Week where key agencies and professionals will display innovative approaches in the teaching of Competency Based Curriculum, and training of the next generation science, technology and innovation workforce, as well as to inspire interest in science and technology among early age learners.
2.2 Multisectoral Conference Focus
The conference will focus the following Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) priority areas:
- R&D Strengthening, Priorities, Financing and Infrastructure.
- STI Education, Communication, Talent Development, and Next generation Workforce.
- STI Inclusivity, Advocacy and Diplomacy.
- Fostering Technology Protection, Diffusion, and Commercialization through Strategic Investment in MSMEs, Start-ups, and Smart technologies.
- Health Security, and Substance Abuse Mitigation (including Pharmaceuticals/Traditional medicine Production).
- STI for Food Security, Nutrition, and harnessing of indigenous knowledge.
- The Fifth Industrial Revolution, Data Governance, and Emerging/Frontier Technologies.
- STI for SDGs, Climate Change Mitigation and Harnessing of the Blue Economy
- STI for National Security, Public safety and Emergency Response
- STI Mainstreaming in MDAs through Policy, Governance, Legal, Institutional, and Services Delivery Reforms.
- Strategic Multi-agency, Sectoral, and International Cooperation and Partnerships
- STI for Urban, County, and Resilient Communities, (including smart cities, Circular Economy, Eco-Housing, and Sustainable Transport-Energy-Habitat Systems)
2.3 Participating Institutions, organizations, and individuals
Participants will include, but not limited to Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, County Governors, High Commissioners and Ambassadors, Heads of key International agencies/organizations, Chairpersons/Heads/CEOs/Sectional Leaders of Ministries, Departments, Universities, Agencies, Private Sector and NGO representatives, scholars, researchers, innovators, inventors, and professionals, as well as staff of Ministries, Departments, Universities, and Agencies/institutions.
2.4 Scientific and Technological Presentations/Call for Papers
Full academic paper submissions are invited for consideration for presentation during the scientific and technological papers presentations Forum. The paper submissions should be in Times New Roman Font 12, single-spaced, and should not exceed twelve pages. Submitted papers will be evaluated for relevance to national priorities, as well as expected positive impacts on national prosperity and public good. The Deadline for submission of full academic papers is 5th May 2023. Interested persons may request for extended submission time with a clear justification.
2.5 Multisectoral Conference Call for Exhibitions
During the Multisectoral Conference, several Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Universities, Colleges, institutions, individuals, and private sector entities will display or exhibit their impacting Research, Technology and Innovation outcomes, and/or deployed technologies and innovations that have enhance service delivery to citizenry. Those interested in exhibiting during the Multisectoral Conference are requested to get in touch with our contact person, Dr. David Ngigi, Email: email@example.com ; Tel. No. +254 0722 961441 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Please note that due to demand, exhibition booths will be availed at a cost on “first-come-first-serve” basis.
2.6 Science and Technology Education Week (STEW)
The Conference will also host a Science and Technology Education Week (STEW) aimed at providing an opportunity for early age learners and young scientists to experience and explore innovative approaches in the teaching of Competency Based Curriculum, and training of the next generation science, technology and innovation workforce. The Science and Technology Education Week also seeks to inspire interest in science and technology among early age learners as part of creating pathways towards a scientifically literate, technology savvy, and innovative society. STEW will endeavour to encourage innovation, inclusion, and sustainability in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Emerging Frontier Technologies.
It may be reiterated that Science and Technology Education Centres are global best- practice aimed at inspiring early age learners while at the same time demonstrating effective methods to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics and emerging Frontier Technologies.
3. EXPECTED OUTPUTS/OUTCOMES
a) Conference Report, including Proceedings and Key resolutions.
b) Enhanced international and regional collaborations and networking.
c) Policy brief on the priorities in scientific, technological and innovation activities in Kenya in relation to the economic and social policies of the Government, and the country’s international commitments.
d) Enhanced coordination and skills among players in the STI sector in undertaking STI Mainstreaming and Infusion for inclusive and sustainable National Development.
e) Expanded awareness of provisions of the regulatory and governance frameworks of the science, technology and innovation system.