© 2019 Centre for Science & Technology Innovations

We link scientific innovation to the benefit of every day people: climate adaptation, biochemistry, biotechnology

cSTI Thematic focus:

Science and technology progress is evolutionary, not revolutionary.  Often, by the time the general public is aware of a scientific innovation, the "revolution" has been underway for 20yrs, 30yrs, sometimes 50yrs in the scientific research community. 

 

We enjoy the moment the general public and non-scientists begin to embrace a scientific research theme or technological application.  It is at this point unexpected innovation begins to happen.  The diversity of perspectives and needs are what have transformed the cellular phone from a compact communication device into a ubiquitous tool that is used for business, health services, news reporting, filming, scientific data gathering, social networking, security verification, and, occasionally, to actually talk to someone voice-to-voice.

Our roles at CSTI is to manage the knowledge trust embedded in both the scientific and general public communities.  As knowledge evolves, our thematic focus areas evolve.  Our thematic focus  areas are not meant to ignore other areas currently being explored or applied.  Instead, our thematic areas reflect the issues for which we are getting the most requests for assistance.  Hence, this part of our operation is subject to dynamic change but does not mean that our core vision, mission or beliefs have changes.  As we enable communities to feel empowered enough to self-manage a thematic area, we take on a new one (sometimes we are called back when a group or community wants to shift direction within a thematic area).  Be sure to check back on this section of our website as it will give you a glimpse of where the current local excitement for science and technology innovation is focused.

2017 to 2030 Research Themes

Green Economy, Blue Economy, Bio-Economy and Circular Economy are terms that tend to be used interchangeably.  Although they all are premised on the belief our survival as a human species depends on our ability to better steward our natural systems (sustainability), each concept has a slightly different sphere of activities. 

 

Green/Blue Economy is focused on natural resource stewardship and management by all members of society (consumers, farmers, fisher people, businesses, government, communities). 

 

Bio-Economy has an industrial (including medical) focus and represents the effort to use natural materials as well as reduce toxins. 

 

Circular Economy has a commercial (B2B) focus and represents the need to form collaborative networks in which the waste output of one operation becomes the raw material input of another operation. 

 

All these frameworks are predicated on True Pricing, also known as Full Cost Accounting in which the negative externalities (environmental and social costs) of human activity are including as part of balance sheet expense and depreciation formulae.  Also part of the frameworks is a need to discuss and resolve differences of opinion concerning environmental and social ethics.

The challenge with all of these frameworks is to match our CSTI knowledge management competencies with practical community applications and pilot demonstrations that enable us to foster adaptive innovation by leveraging both global and local (g-local) capabilities and systemic governance mechanisms with the goal of reducing toxins, waste, pollution, conflict and scarcity.  Our decision has been to focus on the following eight (8) knowledge realms and corresponding applications:

  • Biomaterials - the use of microorganisms, soils, agriwaste and non-edible crops as industrial raw materials 

 

  • Green Chemistry - chemical formulations that are benign, eco-friendly and resource efficient 

 

  • ICT for development - the use of Internet and Communication Technologies for the improvement of socio-environmental conditions

 

  • Permaculture - designing the natural landscape to combat drought, soil erosion and enhance biodiversity 

 

  • Genomics - the use of bioinformatics to increase the range of affordable commercial solutions in a variety of industries 

 

  • Community Health - ecological built environments and social activities as a public health intervention mechanism 

 

  • Water-Food Security Nexus - climate resilient agricultural & fishing techniques as well as new sources of protein plus carbohydrates that are suitable for urban farms, vertical farming, aquaculture, small sized lots and arid areas

 

  • Renewable Energy - affordable micro-grid and community managed renewable energy fuels and systems that empower the poorest communities 

These eight realms have been chosen both based on requests for assistance as well as based on the core capabilities and success track record of the experts within our CSTI Talent Network.  We will engage in experimentation using the concept of Campus as a Living Lab within the community context.  Communities, universities, governmental institutions, non-profits, research institutions, industry and investors request we engage in a specific location on a particular deliverable.  We then bring in expertise to  match the deliverable outcomes and create a campus environment where collaborative learning and experimentation are the processes that lead to improvement, quality management and socio-environmental impact.

We ask that all who engage with us be mindful of the fact that Science and Technology Innovation are both a practice and a mindset.  Discovery is a continuous process of learning, failure and adaptation.  In the scientific laboratory we call this process experimentation and we have laboratory protocols designed to maximise safety as well as effective use of resources.  In the laboratory of life (living laboratory) we call this action learning and we use Human Centred Design as well as asset/strengths based participatory management to maximise harmony and successful outcomes.  Using these protocols, the CSTI Trust will both guide and steward the integration of scientific knowledge and community knowledge through shared open laboratory spaces.  

 

There will be things that go wrong in both types of laboratories.  When this happens, it is critical to keep in mind three principles as goals:

1. We search for the best fit and this is not always the technically or theoretically best scenario 

 

2. In the problem lies the solution (Permaculture principle) so let us not avoid but rather let us think in ways we have not thought before 

 

3. What we learn from failure is just as important as what we learn from successful outcomes.  Success teaches us what to replicate. Failure teaches us what to avoid. 

Our performance goal is to ensure affordable value addition and abundance through the use of renewable and reusable materials that minimise Green House Gas (GHG emissions) and deliver maximum health (human and environmental) using distributions and processes that increase social harmony.  

If you share these values and objectives and have an interest in collaborating on the above thematic areas, we welcome you to join our network by sending an inquiry to info@csti.or.ke