Half-day ICIPE researchers Forum Shed Light on KENET Research Services

The KENET research services team had an opportunity to meet with researchers from International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to better understand their research infrastructure needs and create awareness of some of KENET research services. The half-day forum on June 8, 2018 was hosted at the Duduville Campus, Kasarani convening researchers from ICIPE’s Duduvile Campus, and Mbita Campus (Western Kenya) who were in attendance virtually, facilitated by video conferencing.

KENET Executive Director, Prof. Meoli Kashorda made an-hour long presentation highlighting a brief background about KENET as a National Research and Education Network (NREN), research services offered by KENET, research productivity reports of ICIPE, and research collaborations opportunities. The key question arising throughout the presentation was how ICIPE researchers could benefit from KENET research infrastructures and services.

From the discussions, it was established that researchers at ICIPE could increase their research output, visibility and better manage their data using research tools provided for by KENET.  For instance, the African Open Science Platform pilot project promotes institutional Open Research Data Policies. KENET has been building the some of the critical research infrastructures components required for a federated Open Science Platform as part of the EU-funded SciGaia Open Science Platform project in preparation of wide adoption of Open Science practices in Kenyan universities and research institutions. Other KENET research initiatives and tools such as High-Performance Computing and cloud-based research services were highlighted.

Research visualization performance and benchmarking was also a topic of discussion, and ICIPE’s research productivity from 2012-2017 was gauged using an analytical research tool, SciVal. KENET subscribes to this tool on behalf of its members and uses its reports to discover leading researchers who then could drive the research collaboration agenda of KENET and Kenya as a whole. In addition, it was mentioned that KENET could benchmark ICIPE with peer research institutions in Kenya or Africa as a membership service.

The researchers also had an opportunity to view a live demonstration by Ronald Osure, a Senior Applications Developer at KENET on how the KENET Cloud-Based Research Computing services can be of use to researchers in storing and managing data by creating instances using various scientific software stacks.

“It was a reasonable forum because we are in the process of launching a data repository management system, and we can now see how KENET might help,” said Daisy Salifu, Senior Biostatistician and Director the Biostatistics Unit at ICIPE.

About ICIPE

ICIPE was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Nairobi. The Centre’s mission is to use insect science for sustainable development, to ensure food security and improve the overall health of communities in Africa by addressing the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, low agricultural productivity and environmental degradation. ICIPE is the only international institution in Africa working primarily on arthropods.