Science and technology provide the essential means for facilitating economic, social and cultural transformations at national and global levels. Success of national development policies will often largely depend on the extent of integration of modern science and technology in their implementation
In recognition of the importance of science and technology to national development processes, Kenya’s colonial government established a number of scientific research and development facilities especially in the country’s agriculture and health sectors. These included the Scott Agricultural Laboratories in 1903, Coffee Research Services in 1908, Veterinary Research Laboratories in 1910 and Medical Research Laboratory in 1958. Similar efforts in other sectors were made during the nineteen forties and fifties.
After attaining independence in 1963, Kenya established many other Science and Technology (S&T) institutions to harness science and technology in the country’s development priorities. In response to the growth in national S&T and related activities, the post-independence Government sought to have a mechanism through which scientific and technological activities could be coordinated and promoted. This led to the enactment of the Science and Technology Act, Cap 250 of the Laws of Kenya in 1977. The Act established Advisory Research Committees (ARCs) and the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), a semi-autonomous agency, to serve as advisory institutions to the Government on matters of science and technology.
In an effort to contribute to realization of the Kenya Vision 2030 and other national development goals, which aspires to transform Kenya into a globally competitive, newly industrialized, middle income country founded on a strong foundation on Science and Technology and Innovation with Research playing a key role in generating critical mass of technical and skilled manpower, the Science, Technology and Innovation Act, 2013 was formulated. The Act repealed Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya and established the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) as successor of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST). The Act will facilitate the promotion, coordination and regulation of the progress of Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) in the country.
The objective of the Commission shall be to regulate and assure quality in the science, technology and innovation sector and advise the Government in matters related thereto.
According to the Section 6(1) of the Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2013, the functions of the Commission shall be to:-
- Develop, in consultation with stakeholders, the priorities in scientific, technological and innovation activities in Kenya in relation to the economic and social policies of the Government, and the country’s international commitments;
- Lead inter-agency efforts to implement sound policies and budgets, working in collaboration with the county governments, and organisations involved in science and technology and innovation within Kenya and outside Kenya;
- Advise the national and county governments on the science, technology and innovation policy, including general planning and assessment of the necessary financial resources;
- Liaise with the National Innovation Agency and the National Research Fund to ensure funding and implementation of prioritized research programmes;
- Ensure co-ordination and co-operation between the various agencies involved in science, technology and innovation;
- Accredit research institutes and approve all Scientific research in Kenya;
- Assure relevance and quality of science, technology and innovation programmes in research institutes;
- Advise on science education and innovation at both basic and advanced levels;
- In consultation with the National Research Fund Trustees, sponsor national scientific and academic conferences it considers appropriate;
- Advise the Government on policies and any issue relating to scientific research systems;
- Promote increased awareness, knowledge and information of research system;
- Co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate, as appropriate, activities relating to scientific research and technology development;
- Promote and encourage private sector involvement in scientific research and innovation and development;
- Annually, review the progress in scientific research systems and submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary;
- Promote the adoption and application of scientific and technological knowledge and information necessary in attaining national development goals;
- Develop and enforce codes, guidelines and regulations in accordance with the policy determined under this Act for the governance, management and maintenance of standards and quality in research systems; and
- Undertake, or cause to be undertaken, regular inspections, monitoring and evaluation of research institutions to ensure compliance with set standards and guidelines.
A knowledge-based economy.
To facilitate quality in the research, science, technology and innovation sector through regulation, promotion and provision of advisory services.
The Commission upholds Integrity, Customer Focus, Professionalism, Teamwork and Leadership in the discharge of its mandate.
The National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) is committed to providing Quality Advice, Coordination, Promotion and Regulation of Research, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Pursuant to this obligation, NACOSTI shall continually strive to improve on its effectiveness by implementing a Quality Management System based on ISO 9001:2015. NACOSTI shall comply with all the requirements including communication and sensitization of its staff on the policy.
NACOSTI top management shall annually review this policy and establish quality objective to guarantee continuity and suitability.
The Commission’s Quality Policy provides a framework for setting quality objectives. In order to achieve customer satisfaction and continual improvement of performance through the implementation of the QMS, the has ensured that specific quality objectives and targets including those needed to meet the requirement for services are established and implemented at all Schedule Sciences/Divisions/Units of the Commission.
Quality objectives are set in relation to various services offered, which are specific, measurable and are oriented towards specific results. They include the following:
- To provide timely advisory services to National and County Governments on all matters of Science, Technology and Innovation including;
- To popularise and promote Science, Technology and Innovation in Kenya;
- To register and accredite Research Institutions in Kenya;
- To license all research conducted in Kenya; and
- To Monitor, Evaluate and Assess Impact of Research conducted in Kenya.
Last Update: November 12, 2021