Jun 17, 2012

External Funding Workshop

Some 30 research managers and researchers from research institutions in Mauritius gathered this morning at the R. Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre at the University of Mauritius (UoM) for a two-day training workshop (12 and 13 June 2012) on Increasing external funding for research. Prof S. Facknath, Assoc Prof A. Ruggoo and Mr. K. Boodhoo represented the Faculty of Agriculture.
The event is organised by the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) in collaboration with the Consultancy and Contract Research Centre of the UoM.

The SARIMA works towards the promotion of best practices in management and administration of research and innovation in the SADC region. Its objectives are to raise awareness on the value of a strong research and innovation system and the contribution it can make to economic and social development as well as promote appropriate national and institutional policies supporting research and innovation. The Association also endeavours to bolster African science technology and innovation, including addressing the asymmetries in access to, and diffusion of, knowledge between North and South.

The training workshop held in Mauritius aims at providing participants with required skills in research and innovation management, particularly in securing funding. Discussions are focusing on the national factors influencing institutions/ individuals to fund research, current structure and function as well as funding activity of participating institutions, presentations on international practice, identifying research funding and funding innovation. The SARIMA resource persons are Dr S. Singh from the Durban University of Technology, African Partnerships; Dr K. Dyason, Capacity Development and Professionalisation; and Ms K. Bruns, Chief Operating Officer, Research Africa.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, Dr R. Jeetah, highlighted the importance of research in advancing the reputation and performance of any university and in strengthening the role of the institution as a centre of advanced research. He called for a change in mindset with the development of an active research culture that leads to innovation. As such funding is a prerequisite to improve research quality and output, he added. Another catch phrase of the Minister  was  that « Research should not lie within the pages of highly specialized journals, but should be of an applied nature that can help solve the real problems facing society. »

On his blog, Minister Jeetah wrote

I would like to extend a warm welcome to the overseas experts who were in our midst today to participate in the Workshop on Increasing External Funding for Research, organized jointly by the Consultancy and Contract Research Centre (CCRC) of the University of Mauritius and the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA). Mauritius has always benefited from the cooperation and support of its developmental partners to build national capacity for conducting research of national relevance. I thank SARIMA for its contribution to this very important capacity building workshop, and the Consultancy & Contract Research Centre of the University for organizing it. I hope that the participants will take the opportunity for networking to develop more ambitious, multidisciplinary research that will serve the needs of the region.

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