After an exciting and inspiring week, the 5th Multidisciplinary Conference and Innovation Week came to an end on Friday evening. The TUM VC, DVC, researchers, students, sponsors, and honourable guests gathered at the Assembly Hall for the closing and award ceremony. The Vice Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University, Prof. Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo, graced the event along with other esteemed guests from the same university. 

Professor Laila Abubakar congratulated and expressed her utmost gratitude to the organizing committee and all participants for making this week a huge success. She expressed her belief that Gen Z are the greater innovators and we as TUM are very deliberate in encouraging innovations so that the youth can be job creators once they are done with their studies. Prof. Laila stated the importance of having self-confidence and never underestimating one's abilities, and striving to achieve one's goals.

The VC encouraged all attendees to network and connect with like-minded individuals so that more beneficial partnerships can come to fruition. She shared her excitement for the coming years and the plan to benchmark in other institutions to make the next conference even more impactful.

Professor Peter Gichangi, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor- Academics, Research, and Extension, also expressed his gratitude to Dr Sylvia Mutua, Dr Rahma Udu, the entire PRI department, and all participants for attending the event. He asked the attendees to always have the theme of the year, 'From Ideas to Impact: Igniting Cross-Sector Innovation to shape a sustainable future ,' in mind since it shall be realized soon. He also shared his excitement about the innovations and ideas that he saw this year, predicting the youth and Gen Z as the future leaders.

The acting registrar of partnerships, research, and academic affairs, Dr Sylvia Mutua, extended her gratitude to all members, guests, and attendees of the conference for their support and time. She mentioned that this year's conference had more papers than any previous year, yet they responded to every abstract and consider this Innovation Week as the most successful and impactful of all.

The young, brilliant minds who participated in the Blockchain Hackathon and the Robotics Competition were awarded. Team Elimu was awarded first place in the Blockchain Hackathon, with a cheque of Ksh 14,000/= and a trophy. Team Feather came in second, being granted Ksh 9000/=, while Team Fake News was awarded Ksh 7000/= in third place. Team SRC and Team Pavilion took fourth and fifth place, respectively, each being awarded Ksh 4000/=.

Three of the TUM innovators were picked by investors for incubation and commercialization of their Innovations, awarded by the Registrar of Research from Masinde Muliro University.

In the Robotics Competition, Taha Arif, a Form Two student from Allidina Visram High School, emerged as the champion. Only two groups from Allidina were awarded by the VC of MMUST, with Group A being awarded as the Robotics Champions a trophy, a gift voucher of Ksh 50,000/= from Afribot Robotics, and a token from TUM. Group F from TUM was awarded the winner at the university level.

The Blockchain Hackathon, Robotics Competition and Entrepreneurship Summit were led by Ms Bibiye Mahmud, Chairperson of the Innovation Team at TUM, in partnership with Swahilipot Hub, Afribot Robotics, ICP Hub Network, TechBridge and Web 3 Developers, among others.

With over 90 submitted papers and visitors from as far as Nigeria and as near as South Africa and Uganda, the 5th Multidisciplinary Conference was a culmination of educational excellence, community effort and innovative empowerment. In the words of our VC, Professor Laila, this is not the end. It is but the beginning!

Tags: TUM, Multidisciplinary Conference, Innovation Week, Transformation, Growth, Development, Entrepreneurship