African Higher Education Leadership in Advancing Inclusive Innovation for Development’ (AHEAD) project

African Higher Education Leadership in Advancing Inclusive Innovation for Development’ (AHEAD) project

The Kisii University Research and Extension office is pleased to inform you that Kisii University jointly with Petru Maior University of Tirgu Mures (UPM), Romania and other Universities in Europe and East Africa were awarded a European Union Grant on cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices in Higher Education entitled ‘African Higher Education Leadership in Advancing Inclusive Innovation for Development’ (AHEAD).

This project focuses on the innovation capacity needs of Kenyan (KE), Tanzanian (TZ) and Ugandan (UG) Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The East Africa are required to intensify knowledge triangle practices and align their teaching and research missions with a third mission of community engagement, knowledge transfer, innovation and start-up support in local economies. 

Project objectives

  • To enhance the  management, governance and innovation capacities of Partner Country HEIs in view of enabling them to initiate and manage strategic partnerships with enterprises in support of grassroots and inclusive innovation
  • To build capacities for leading and supporting local grassroots innovation systems, social innovation and  social entrepreneurship
  • Promote the entrepreneurial spirit of students and alumni at PC HEIs and encourage start-ups.

Main activities of the project

  1. Development of Open Educational Resources in the following areas: entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, innovation management, social innovation, inclusive innovation and grassroots innovation (will be available as online courses)
  2. Training of faculty and staff of the PC HEIs in the subjects covered by the Open Educational Resources (hosted by an EU-based partner)
  3. Pilot implementation of the online courses (at least 100 students per PC taking the courses)
  4. Development of pilot designs (including methodologies and guidelines) for: a Social Innovation Lab; Start-up Incubator for both for-profit and non-profit student and alumni start-ups, Grassroots Innovation Lab and Inclusive Innovation Lab.
  5. Establishment of Innovation for Development Hubs in PC’s HEIs and organization of pilot student start-up competition and an alumni mentorship programme (the IDHs will maintain the virtual gateways for online cooperation and communication with the different types of stakeholders).
  6. Development of feasibility studies and development plans for the establishment of university-led Innovation for Development hubs in support of social innovation, inclusive innovation, grassroots innovation and innovation for development.


This engagement will go a long way to support Kisii University towards establishing an innovation hub, enhancing the international profile of Kisii University besides empowering staff and students on innovation activities. In this regard, the University will hold a stakeholder panel and involve relevant faculty in the project towards the realization of the project objectives.