The factory will manufacture integrated circuits and sensors as raw materials in the electronic gadgets manufacturing industry.
The factory, which is the only one of its kind in Africa, is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the university and American nanotechnology firm 4Wave Inc.
This is one of the anchor projects of the university’s technology park. The technology park is a 177-acre facility dedicated for the set up of enterprises including start-ups in food bio-resources value addition, ICTs and technological products.
The factory sets the stage for the local manufacture of electronic devices including smartphones in Kenya.
STL’s partnership with 4Wave Inc allows it to connect to a large supply chain serving many verticals in the chip technology industry.
The university is collaborating with STL in this manufacturing venture with the intention of supporting the governmentâ€™s policy that requires state institutions to purchase locally manufactured products, under the â€œBuy Kenya â€“ Build Kenyaâ€ initiative.
The school has assigned 5 academic staff with PhD qualifications to take part in the project, and also recruited 20 Master’s students from science and engineering programmes.
This will help build local human resource capacity in the area and provide students with the opportunity to advance their interests.
Manufacturing is one of the pillars of President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, and which seeks to create 1,000,000 new jobs.
According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenyaâ€™s manufacturing share in GDP is below average for a country with its level of income.
On April 8, President Kenyatta launched a gun factory in Ruiru where he said that Kenya’s economy stands to gain from exporting locally made products.