CEO Weekends: Philips To Establish Research & Innovation Hub In Africa

JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa


JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa
JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa

Kenya seems to be the most attractive country when it comes to innovations, well this is according to Royal Philips. The electronics company has announced the establishment of its Africa Innovation Hub in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Philips Africa Innovation Hub will work both on the creation of new inventions, as well as bringing these inventions to the market.

The Hub will do 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.

The Philips Africa Innovation Hub will be located at the Philips East African Headquarters in Nairobi, and will work in close collaboration with the R&D ecosystem of Kenya and Africa.

“We welcome the establishment of Philips’ Innovation Hub in Kenya; Philips is a globally recognized innovation powerhouse and their selection of Nairobi as the site to establish their African Innovation hub is a testament to the Kenyan government’s commitment to nurture the drive for research and innovation in the region”, said Adan Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Enterprise Development.

JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President & CEO Philips Africa states: “Our ambition is to create impactful innovations that matter to people and address the key challenges that confront society. With Kenya as a leader in the continent in science and entrepreneurship as well as a hub of collaboration on technology and innovation, Nairobi, is the ideal location to establish Philips’ African research presence. We want to tap into the city’s vibrant R&D eco-system and contribute to the process of co-creating new solutions, new business models and meaningful partnerships to provide innovations that make an impact.”

Some innovations that Philips was already working include:

  • Respiratory rate monitor to support pneumonia diagnosis: a robust and affordable Automated Respiratory Rate Monitor that aims to support the diagnosis of pneumonia among infants and children.
  • Community care services: The development and testing of a work-flow innovation designed to reduce the number of avoidable maternal and child deaths.
  • Smokeless cook stove: a stove that uses wood  and can reduce smoke and carbon monoxide emissions by more than 90 percent compared to an open fire.
  • Consumer solar solutions e.g. solar lamps

The Philips Africa Innovation Hub while headquartered in Kenya, will be responsible for pan-African research and projects and will have operations across Africa, linked to the Philips regional offices across the continent; the hub will be headed by Dr. Maarten van Herpen and will work in close collaboration with the Philips research labs in Bangalore, Shanghai and Eindhoven.