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Business Incubation

The KIRDI Board of Directors established the Technology Business Incubator in July 2006 with the aim of enhancing technology transfer and dissemination of the institute's findings that have a national impact on economic development.

Technology incubation is a process that supports entrepreneurs and start up technology based enterprises in the development, assimilation, absorption, and utilization of requisite technology to accelerate their successful development. Alongside the provision of the technical support, business development support is also provided. It brings together all the necessary ingredients and environment for building the technological capability of the technology receipt to facilitate the technology transfer.

Incubation process

The incubator sets criteria of admission based on the technologies it wants to transfer and the technological capability of the target end users. The parameters for the admission and selection criteria are often determined through sectoral studies; technology needs assessment and discussions with various stakeholders, which take place before the technology to be transferred is developed.

Services Provided to the Incubatee

The incubatees are provided with the technology they have requested for and the requisite technical support to help them absorb and assimilate the technology. They are also provided with the BDS and business growth skills to ensure the technologies potential is maximized. These include access to markets and finance.

Facilities provided

There are two types of incubatees, non-resident incubatees who are not accommodated in the business incubation buildings and resident incubatees, who rent accommodation in the business incubation environment / building.
Resident incubates are provided with an office, workspace and basic furniture, non-resident incubatees may be given a small work area but not an office. However they both enjoy common facilities such as a common meeting room, cyber café and access to back office and front office support.

Period of Incubation

The relationship of the incubatee and the incubator is long term and under normal conditions is broken when the incubatee has achieved self-sustainability. During this period the incubatee forms relationships with research scientists and is able to acquire other skills that build his technological capability, such as the ability to assess and improve on a technology.


Whereas incubatees may be charged for rent and other support services, the charges are normally graduated so that they pay very little at the start of the incubation and near market rates by the time they are ready to graduate.

This allows them to focus on the acquisition of technology without worrying about paying large bills until they have already acquired the technology and are in production, and generating enough revenue to meet their financial obligations.

Business incubations are organizations that support the entrepreneurial process, helping to increase survival rates for innovative startup companies. Entrepreneurs with feasible projects are selected and admitted into the incubators, where they are offered a specialized menu of support resources and services. Resources and services open to an entrepreneur might include: provision of physical space (offices, laboratories and pilot facilities); management support including business planning, training and marketing; technical support, involving researchers and technical personnel as well as data bases; access to financing through venture capital funds, business angel networks and other schemes; legal assistance for contractual issues, licensing and intellectual property agreements; administrative services; and networking with other incubators and government services.

Some of incubated enterprises are listed below:

  • Dunga Cottage Industries
  • Nature Cure, Care Research & Training Center Products

Categories of business incubations:

  • ICT
  • FOOD


Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) is the National Industrial Research, Technology and Innovation Institution established in 1979 as a multidisciplinary Institution to conduct Research and Development in Industrial and Allied Technologies.

Vision: To be a Centre of Excellence in Industrial Research, Technology and Innovation
Mission: To undertake Industrial Research, Technology and Innovation and disseminate findings that will have positive impact on National Development

Our Contacts

KIRDI Head Quarters

South C Campus - Popo Rd. Off Mombasa Rd. 

P.O. Box 30650-00100

Nairobi, Kenya.

Tel:  +254-20-6003842
       +254-20-2388216, 2393466

Fax: +254-20-6007023

E-mail: {dir<at>}
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