KIRDI Western Region Centre started in the year 1991, with the aim of mainstreaming composite flour from sorghum and millet. Over the years, the centre has grown and recently upgraded its facilities and infrastructure to meet the growing demand for research and development (R&D) products and services in the country. KWRC boasts as one of the largest R&D infrastructure in the region including laboratory and state of the art production lines for training purposes; product piloting; testing of new production methods and selected commercial processing lines for industry support. KWRC has five research centres offering research, development and innovation in industrial and allied technologies; training and capacity building; product development, laboratory testing and analysis and business incubation. The research centres are Natural Products Research Centre, Agri - Food Processing Technology Centre, Laboratory Services Centre, Electro-Mechanical and Energy Resources Research Centre and Leather Technology Research Centre. The KWRC technology transfer centres located in Migori, Kisii, Eldoret and Malakisi offers diverse SMEs, organisations and individuals the opportunity to benefit from skills transfer to develop and expand their businesses.
KWRC Research Centres
Leather Technology Research Centre Leather technology involves tanning of raw hides and skins and finishing the tanned leather to impart to it the specific properties that make it suitable for making particular leather articles. Unique to the KWRC is tanning of fish skin to leather. KWRC supports MSME’s through technology transfer in value addition of hides and skins and enhance crafting skills of leather through training and incubation programs. Unique to KWRC is tanning of fish skin to leather. Knowledge on footwear production, leather goods, and leather apparel can easily be learnt at the KWRC Leather Crafts Workshop that is furnished with the latest technology to support leather artisans to engage in their craft. The division also has a well-equipped leather laboratory that offers services ranging from testing of physical parameters of leather such as cracking test, tensile strength, water vapour permeability, water resistance (insole), and abrasion and leather shrinkage.
Agri-Food Processing Technology Centre (AFPTC) The Agri-Food Processing Technology Centre is mandated to conduct applied market-oriented research in food processing, preservation, safety, storage, and utilization, and national food and nutritional security in support of the food industry.
The Agri-Food Processing Technology Center vision is to be recognized within the food industry nationally and internationally as a key player in the transformation of the food processing industry to be internationally competitive with particular reference to product innovation, technology transfer, quality, and safety.
The overall goal of the Center is to assist in national development through provision of opportunities for enterprises growth incomes within the micro, small, medium and large-scale food industry; contribute to food security, and the application of cost-effective and environmentally friendly food processing technologies.
The Centre's focuses on providing scientific and technological support to the growth of the food and allied sectors of the national economy in line with KIRDI strategic -objectives and national priority areas such the Vision 2030 with key areas being food products and process development, food safety assessment, research on food ingredients processing, technology transfer and incubation of enterprises, packaging and storage. The primary focus of the Centre is to conduct market-oriented applied research and provide technical services and products profitably to the industry and other stakeholders.
Electro-Mechanical and Energy Resources Research Centre The centre focuses on the provision of engineering and energy services through engineering design and fabrication of machine and machine components, equipment/plant design layout and installation, electrical system design and installation, development of renewable/ green energy technologies and promotion of clean cooking fuels and technologies, consultancy services and transfer of technologies.
Electro-mechanical and energy resources research centre specializes in the conversion of agricultural biomass to produce green energy. The Research division has a biomass briquetting machine, which produces briquettes from agricultural by-products such as rice husks, groundnut shells, coconut shells, bagasse, and paddy straw and maize cobs. The facility supports entrepreneurs to nurture and grow their briquetting businesses through the CMF model. Micro-enterprises are supported on charcoal briquette technologies through training and incubation. Industries and households use the briquettes for energy generation as substitutes to firewood, charcoal and other fossil fuels. In addition, the centre offers engineering services through design and fabrication of machine and machine components, equipment/plant design layout and installation, electrical system design and installation. The division is also in the process of initiating ceramic technologies.
Natural Products Research Centre KWRC opened its door to the public in 1991 as a pilot plant for commodity processing. Over the years, it has grown in leaps and bounds to accommodate more research activities in science and technology sectors including Natural products chemistry. At Natural Products Research Centre (NPRC) we deliver on the mandate of KIRDI through research, training, industrial incubation, and consultancies. Moreover, through new, innovative ideas and technologies we can help enterprises develop quality products. Some of the processes involved during the R& D include the clarification of detailed mechanisms of naturally occurring bioactive substances in the plant, isolating and characterizing them using analytical instrumentation. Apart from elucidating, the biosynthesis of the bioactive substances from the natural products and developing valued products out of such products.
The products are developed in stages after business evaluations, and this may be through training, business incubation services, CMF, or consultancies. The business incubation service, for instance, nurtures enterprises through the tough business stages to maturity. Thus, this programme provides the enterprise the much-needed R & D ideas for its product to thrive and be competitive in the market. In training, we transfer the existing technology to an enterprise hence assisting the enterprise be on a pedestal for industry take off.
Some of the services offered by the division under the mentioned mentor programmes include shampoos, sanitizers, candles, bleaches, perfumes, fabric softeners, body lotions, animal feeds, organic liquid fertilizer, deodorant, body oils, extraction of oils from seeds, toilet cleaners, soaps (liquid, toilet and bar) among other products.
Laboratory Services Centre (LSC) The Laboratory Services Centre (LSC) provides analytical, testing, quality control services as well as pilot trials on industrial processes. The centre focuses on the national industrialization and technology development programs; gives priority to small, medium and industrial enterprises and support R & D programs and activities by providing laboratory testing and analysis. As an analytical laboratory, LSC is committed to providing the highest quality in all services rendered with the lowest turn-around time. Be it quality control testing, routine & non-routine analysis, environmental and analytical consultancy; KWRC-LABS is the ideal turnkey laboratory for contract analysis outsourcing partner.
Services offered at KWRC-LSC
1. Analytical testing
2. Quality control
3. Pilot trials on industrial processes
4. Capacity building through provision of industrial attachment to students from various training and learning institutions
5. Support Industrial Enterprises as well as R&D programs.
Some of the areas that the center focuses on include:
Food and Animal feeds section that covers chemical, microbiological as well as physical analysis of Food materials and Animal feeds. In this area proximate composition is done.
Water & wastewater section which deals with both portable water as well as industrial waste effluent. The laboratory has capacity to handle all the parameters pertaining to the above mentioned.
Chemical section deals with Industrial chemicals, Agro-chemicals as wells liquid and solid biofuels.
The LSC state of the art analytical equipment:
• Fiber-tec System
• Bomb Calorimeter
• COD reactor
• BOD Analyser
• Digital Density meter
• Refrigerated Bench top Centrifuge
• UV-Visible spectrophotometer
• Bio-safety cabinet
• CO2 Incubator
• Light Microscope
• Moisture Analyser
• Muffle Furnance
• Soxhlet Apparatus
• Rotary Evaporator
• To observe highest level of integrity and confidentiality of test results
• To provide timely, reliable quality and competitive testing and analytical services.
• To respect and value our customers.
• To comply with relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.