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Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Research Center (IMB-RC)


Biological libraries are resource bases for known, validated and precisely identified microbial resources and associated information. These repositories preserve and provide biological resources for scientific, industrial, agricultural, environmental and medical research and development applications; conserve biodiversity; and serve as repositories of biological resources for protection of intellectual property, and resources for public information and policy formulation. Local bioprocessing industries including food, textile, leather, detergents, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, bioenergy, and fine chemicals are uncompetitive because they heavily rely on imported microbial resources to meet their manufacturing needs. Microbial technologies can accelerate the transition into a bio-based circular economy and contribute to sustainable production of food, feed, chemicals, biofuels, textiles, and materials for construction, automotive and transport industries. Industrial biotechnology sector, offers new approaches to pollution prevention, resource conservation, cost reduction and creation of new markets. The future of industrial biotechnology in Kenya is bright since the country has a broad diversity of microbial resources that can be explored to help boost the growth of bio-economy. IMB-RC undertakes research and development in competitive biologically based technologies aimed at finding solutions in food, health, agriculture, energy and environment. Our goal is to create a national hub for innovations in microbiology and biotechnology research to meet the national development needs.


  • Application of biotechnology innovations to produce value-added products for agriculture, food, feed, chemical, bioenergy, pharmaceutical, leather and textile industries. The Biosafety Level I (BSL 1) laboratory utilizes generally-recognized-as-safe microorganisms for new product development, such as characterization, spawn production and cultivation of common, wild edible and therapeutic medicinal mushrooms.
  • Biosafety Level 2 (BSL 2) laboratory addresses safety issues associated with pathogens and microbial contaminants in food, feed, water, waste water and cosmetic products; labelling and surveillance of genetically modified organisms elements in food and feed; bioremediation research using microorganisms to eradicate or neutralize waste or pollutants from contaminated sites and effluent from industries such as textile and leather.
  • Repository of microbial collections that can be used for commercial and research activities. This repository contains local collections of culturable microorganisms and viable but not yet culturable organisms, as well as databases containing molecular, physiological and structural information relevant to these collections and related bioinformatics. The repository is established according to international standards for management of biological databases.
  • Provide entrepreneurs with technical knowledge and skills to enable them develop market ready products and services. Clients receive support on product formulation and design, standardization, packaging and certification. The training can be individualized, in groups, and on/off-site KIRDI premises.


  • IMB-RC has fully equipped BSL-1 and BSL-2 laboratories to support new product development, waste management and bioremediation, product standardization and quality assurance services for industries.