Philips is setting up an Africa Innovation Hub in Nairobi, Kenya, to work on projects tailored to the needs of the continent.
Located at the Philips East African Headquarters in Nairobi, African and international researchers will work with local organisations and universities on R&D collaborations.
They will carry out application-focused scientific and user studies to address key challenges like improving access to lighting and affordable healthcare as well as developing innovations to meet the aspirational needs of the rising middle class in Africa.
Some existing activities have been brought into the Innovation Hub. In healthcare these include a respiratory rate monitor to support more reliable diagnosis of pneumonia in children, and a workflow innovation to help staff in remote health centres assess expectant mothers and offer the relevant treatment.
Philips has designed and is manufacturing an efficient wood-burning cookstove as a cleaner, healthier alternative to open fires. The Innovation Hub is also working on products that combine solar power with LED technology for off-grid lighting, as well as establishing new market models to make them affordable.
Although headquartered in Kenya, the hub will have operations across Africa, and will also work with the Philips research labs in Bangalore, Shanghai and Eindhoven.