About Us

Advancement of scientific research, inventions, and Innovations

The National Research Fund (NRF) is established under the Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Act of 2013, Section 32. The Fund became operational on 9th November 2015. The object of the Fund is to facilitate research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation.

Part VII of the ST&I Act, 2013, stipulates that the Fund will constitute a sum of money amounting to 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product every year and such other monies designated for the Fund by Parliament, donations, endowment or grants or gifts designated for the Fund.

Global Trends

Discussions to formulate ST&I Policy and Strategy

In line with global trends and consistent with the African Union (AU) position, around 2005/2006 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology initiated discussions to formulate ST&I Policy and Strategy to elevate Science and Technology as part of the foundation for national transformation embodied in the country’s development blue print Kenya Vision 2030. One of specific strategic issue in the ST&I policy was aimed at securing adequate and sustainable funding for various Science, Technology and Innovation components that would facilitate cost effective implementation of the policy. Such as:-

1) Development of mechanisms to mobilize financial resources from both public and private sector for ST&I;
2) Development and promotion of a robust institutional framework for mobilization and management of ST&I resources for strategic national priorities;
3) Support for establishment of a mechanism for regular review of the funding mechanisms in science, technology and innovation; and
4) Review of administrative and financial procedures for ST&I funding to enhance realization of set targets.

Strategic Alignment

Enactment of the Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Act of 2013

To achieve this goal, institutional re-organization and strategic alignment was necessary. While the development of science and technology is a prime responsibility of the Government and user organizations in centres of economic activities, it is necessary that a proper institutional framework be established with the role of harnessing and directing funds towards meeting the national ST&I goals. This need led to enactment of the Science Technology and Innovation (ST&I) Act of 2013. The ST&I Act No. 28, Section 32, of 2013 led to the establishment of a National Research Fund (NRF) with a mandate to mobilize, allocate and manage financial resources to facilitate an effective national innovation system that would create required knowledge and innovations in all fields of Science and Technology for the growing economy.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology formally published a Legal Notice No. 129 in the Special Issue of Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 144 dated 19th November 2014 announcing the commencement of the establishment of NRF as provided in the ST&I Act of 2013. This led to the appointment of NRF Board of Trustees who were gazetted on 24th July, 2015. The Board was subsequently inaugurated on 10th November, 2015. The NRF secretariat of three officers was appointed in December, 2015. As established in Part VII of the ST&I Act, 2013, NRF will constitute money provided by Treasury amounting to 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product every year, other Money as may be designated by Parliament and other sums of money as may be received as donations, endowment or grants.

Thematic Areas

Categories And Thematic Areas Of The National Research Fund

The thematic areas are based on Kenya’s existing frameworks as listed in the ST&I Act 2013, Second Schedule Section 9(1). The thematic areas of focus based on listed Scheduled Sciences are:

Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Focusing on of production technologies, values addition, marketing and naturals resource management

Biological and Health Sciences

Focusing on affordable product development and equitable and affordable healthcare delivery systems

Physical, Industrial and Energy Sciences;

With major focus on affordable, alternative and renewable energy sources and management; telecommunication and manufacturing technologies.

Infrastructure, Information and Communication Sciences

With major focus on improved quality and quantities of infrastructure for improved knowledge management, economic competitiveness and development

Humanities and Social Sciences

With major focus on national Integration, Development research and population studies, arts, Sports and culture, art, music, entrepreneurship and wealth creation

Earth and Space Sciences

Use knowledge of the earth to achieve sustainable provision and utilization of space-derived services for economic, social and scientific development.

Thematic Areas

Review of thematic areas

The Fund may review the identified thematic areas based on current National Research Priorities and prevailing regional and global trends. In identifying national research priorities, the potential for impact of research in the specific fields; potential for addressing national needs and gaps unlikely to be met by other funding mechanisms; cost-effectiveness and sustainability, and potential for multipliers effect will be considered. Stakeholders are expected to mainstream environmental sustainability, climate initiatives, national values, and devolutions considerations.