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research institution established in 1979 under the Science and Technology Ac Cap. 250 of the Laws of Kenya (now repealed and replaced by the Science, Technology & Innovation Act, 2013) and mandated to undertake multidisciplinary research and development in industrial and allied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) and 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 the 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 and In 1979 an act of Parliament establishing the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST) was amended to establish KIRDI and 5 other research Institutes. This act has been repealed and replaced with the STI Act 2013.