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Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) is a national research institution established in 1979 under the Science and Technology Ac Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya (now repealed and replaced by the Science, Technology & Innovation Act, 2013) and mandated to undertake multidisciplinary research and development in industrial and allied technologies including:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Energy and Power Resources
  • Leather Technologies
  • Textile Technology
  • Industrial Chemistry Environment
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Food Technology
  • Ceramics and Clay Technologies
  • Information Communication & Technology (ICT)
  • Mining

The history of KIRDI dates back to 1942, when the then colonial government set a Central Laboratory at Kabete, Nairobi.

The laboratory aim was to initiate and develop industries to relieve he industrial goods shortages occasioned by the Second World War.

  • The laboratory was administered by the Kenya Industrial Management Board (KIMBO)
  • As the laboratory expanded, it was renamed the East African Industrial Research Organization (EAIRO) and later, its management was taken over by the East African Community (EAC).
  • EAIRO, the predecessor of present day KIRDI has Centres in; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
  • It however, ceased its operations in 1977, following the collapse of the then East African Community.
  • In 1977, an act of Parliament establishing the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) was amended to establish KIRDI and 5 other research Institutes. This ac has been repealed and replaced with the STI Act 2013.