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research institution established in 1979 under the Science and Technology Ac Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya (now repealed and replaced by the Science, Technology & Innovation Act, 2013) and mandated to undertake multidisciplinary research and development in industrial and allied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)
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 This ac has been repealed and replaced with the STI Act 2013.