As Kenya is on the eve of becoming the first African State Party to ISTC, the International Science and Technology Center, jointly with its proven and reliable partners - the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) - organized on 17 January 2021 a webinar for potentially interested scientists and research organizations. The purpose of the event was to acquaint potential applicants for cooperation with ISTC with the process of elaboration and assessment of ISTC project proposals, applications for mobility and conference support, as well as with relevant documentation from the ISTC Rules and Procedures. Special attention was attributed to the major tool for project generation – the ISTC Forum, presented by its architect - Dr Burkhard Endrullat, ISTC Senior Programme Manager.
Approximately 90 people attended the webinar, co-hosted by Dr Henry Rotich, KEBS Director of Metrology and Testing, and Dr David Otwoma, NACOSTI Chief Analyst. This audience comprised scientists and experts who have already cooperated with the ISTC during the last three years through the implementation of the EU CBRN CoE Project 60 on Nuclear Security. Others, like the leaders of African Young Generation in Nuclear, had experience acquired through another ISTC-led EU-funded project on nuclear safety and safeguards in Southern African states. Participants came also from various fields of nuclear applications in Kenya: human health (radiotherapy, diagnostic radiology, and nuclear medicine), industrial applications (non-destructive technologies, SSDL), biosafety and biosecurity, etc. Many of them belonged to academia, research communities, educational establishments.
Prof. James Gatari, known as the “father of nuclear science in Kenya” summed up the results of the discussion, by saying that Kenya’s membership in ISTC may provide the young generation of researchers with a good platform to connect with colleagues from other states. He also added that in the Master course at his Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology in the University of Nairobi, more than half of the students are young women, illustrating an impressive tendency of gender balance.
Soon after the webinar ended, seven Kenyan universities and institutes registered at the ISTC Forum, getting ready to partake in the future cooperation.