Categories: Business Plans

GE Africa and Gearbox announce plans to launch GE Garages for technology skills acquisition

To work with Seven Seas Technologies, University of Nairobi and Technical University of Kenya

The GE Garages – Nairobi skills building program will bring together partners from academia and private sector including Gearbox, University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Seven Seas Technologies to support sustainable skills and job growth in Kenya

GE Garages and local shared manufacturing platform Gearbox, will provide training, drive awareness and generate interest in the value of advanced hardware and technology.

The Garages – Nairobi space will feature advanced manufacturing innovations like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills for the industrial world, which complement the wide-ranging modern machinery which will soon be available at Gearbox, to encourage entrepreneurial disruption and a skilled workforce for the future.

In order to support the development of a manufacturing ecosystem and build skills in Kenya, GE Africa and Gearbox have announced a plan to launch a ‘GE Garages’ manufacturing program to help build a skilled workforce and drive entrepreneurial development in Kenya. This program is in development with University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Seven Seas Technologies.

The GE Garages – Nairobi would contribute to bridging the technical skills gap in Kenya. According to the National Manpower Survey, the percentage of vacant posts in the transport sector is 2.8%. While the Oil and Gas Sector will create between 6,000 and 15,000 new jobs over the next ten years with the majority requiring technical or vocational training.

The GE Garages space, which will be hosted at Gearbox’s premises, will support classes and workshops, for students, entrepreneurs, makers and others to learn more about advanced manufacturing processes, software programming and business development. It will feature advanced manufacturing innovations like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills for the industrial world to encourage entrepreneurial disruption and a skilled workforce for the future.

Speaking at a media event to announce the initiative, Dr Kamau Gachigi, CEO of Gearbox said Gearbox is very excited about this relationship as it central to their objective of democratising access to opportunities in industrialization.

Gearbox is in the process of assembling a formidable arsenal of modern machines and CAD/CAM software for digital fabrication, alongside more traditional but essential technologies, all under one roof to be made accessible on a membership basis to people who currently have no such opportunity.

They will need to be trained on the use of this state-of-the-art equipment, but also in the soft skills that are necessary to leverage the tech-knowledge so as to successfully launch businesses. This partnership serves both needs. The provision of a GE Garage at Gearbox is essential to developing a continuous pipeline of people skilled in modern technologies and prepared to deliver tech solutions through business, who will serve as the “army” that will enable industrialisation on the scale that is required for our national development.

The proposed Garages training facility will be within the Nairobi location of Gearbox. GE would provide the necessary equipment while University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Seven Seas Technologies will provide input to program as well as training facilities.

We are delighted to collaborate with like-minded establishments on an initiative that aims to make more Kenyan youth employable in a fast changing technology-driven world” said President & CEO, GE Africa, Jay Ireland. “I’m looking forward to seeing great ideas that come to the GE Garage being transformed into practical business models that ultimately create more jobs in Kenya.”

GE created the Garages experience in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing in America. Programs have included custom projects, curated speaker sessions and workshops amidst a fully equipped advanced manufacturing space, including hardware such as CNC mills, laser cutters, 3D printers, injection moulders, Arduino kits and much more. This program went global with a workshop in Lagos Nigeria in 2014 and has since grown to include several countries in Europe and the Middle-East.

Professor Lucy Irungu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Nairobi, welcomes this collaboration which she sees a great opportunity for engineering students, supervised by the engineering faculty at the University, to gain access to modern equipment and methods that will ensure their undergraduate and post-graduate projects have greater impact on the region’s economic needs.

The GE Garages -Nairobi program truly brings to life the ‘Empower’ pillar of GE Africa’s CSR platform ‘GE Kujenga’  said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, GE Africa. She stated that GE’s approach to investing in our communities is to empower people by building valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology, and elevate ideas that help solve Africa’s challenges.  We will continue working with Government, institutions, communities and private-sector peers to help bring sustainable and transformative development.

For further information on the Kujenga programme, please go to: www.gekujenga.com

About GE

GE imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com

About Gearbox

Gearbox is a non-profit, open platform for hardware innovation that brings together inventors and innovators from diverse backgrounds to prototype and build their projects using a substantial array of engineering equipment on a shared basis. Gearbox partners with others to provide top-notch incubation services and links with investors.

About Seven Seas Technologies

Seven Seas Technologies (SST) Group turns the invisible into the visible, dreams into realities and ideas into action. On a basic level, we are a pan-African ICT solutions company, offering unparalleled solutions across a cross-section of industry verticals, including Financial Services, Energy and Utilities, Healthcare, Telecoms and the Government sectors, in partnership with some of the world’s biggest brands. On a deeper level, we are a collection of artists, thinkers, engineers, dreamers, project managers, ICT specialists and change agents.

Our aim: to transform lives and change communities.

Innov8tiv.com

Innov8tiv is a dynamic Web source for technology news, resources and innovation, with a special focus on the entrepreneurial advances of Africans on the continent as well as in the Diaspora. This site seeks to not only inform consumers and companies about the latest in tech trends and ideologies, but to shed light on a phenomenon often ignored: the inventive, life-changing and creative engine that exists in Africa and among leaders of color around the world, including the UK, the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia. Send story ideas to info@innov8tiv.com

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