Innovation has been described as a new driver for growth in Africa. Across the continent, Africans are faced with numerous challenges and tend to come up with informal innovations to address their challenges.
These innovations also always concentrated in some regions rather than others. The question however according to a 2016 report by Deloitte is not necessarily a lack of innovation in some regions but rather how to formally capture and protect African innovations.
‘’The challenges being dealt with on the continent are at times very basic and when they are formally solved, the solution can be applied in many contexts across the world.’’ the report says.
For this reason, Gearbox, the Nairobi-based firm that provides tools, space, and training for Kenyan engineers and hardware entrepreneurs in Nairobi has partnered with the European Union (EU) to offer scholarships to engineering students from across Kenya.
The two-month scholarship program will be given to 26 exceptional candidates who will be able to bring their amazing ideas to life right here at GearBox. This Challenge, according to the two partners, aims to invest in young talent today, to help them create an impact that will be felt by the generations of tomorrow.
For the two months, candidates will be introduced to the key principles of engineering to help them grow their engineering experience.
The ‘Gearbox Challenge’ is a response to the significant gaps that exist in advanced training and engineering in Kenya. The programme is open to innovators in education, tech, agriculture, healthcare, entrepreneurship among other fields.
Other than the training session and mentorship, Gearbox says it will apply Human Centred Design, HCD, alongside Industry 4.0 Technologies to impart essential engineering skills to the students.
It’s important to note that the European Union (EU) has been partnering with Africa for decades, embracing the complex challenges of the continent. The EU believes by working with countries like Kenya through programmes such as the Gearbox Challenge, it can make an even greater impact and empower generations to come.
Gearbox through its Academy is a training institution that focuses on imparting relevant hands-on skills through Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Industry 4.0 technologies, to promote digital literacy in engineering fields
The academy trains students to identify challenges in society, then come up with effective and practical solutions. The students, therefore, apply HCD in ideation to make solutions meet the users need, then implement them by applying industry 4 technologies such as Embedded systems or Digital design and Fabrication”
How To Appy for the Gearbox Challenge
Applications for the Gearbox Challenge is open to students from across Kenya and interested students drop their applications here.
Once you have submitted your application, Gearbox will reach out to you with more details.
The challenge will give selected candidates the space to explore their vision for the future of tech and innovation in Kenya.