Welcome to the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.
Fostering Excellence through Knowledge and Innovation
"As we go forward, we will seek to be transactional in maintaining and strengthening the governance architecture, but we will also be transformational as we prepare the citizens for the new economy that requires the development of new parameters in education, innovation, and enterprise", - His Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia
Considering the need to advance research, technology and innovation, section 23 of research, Science and Technology Act 23 of 2004 creates the “National Research, Science and Technology Fund” and provides basic provisions. Article 24 of the Act defines that the fund is constituted by:
Financial resources appropriated by Parliament on behalf of the Fund
Fees that are received under the Act for the benefit of the Fund
Interests or dividends earned on any investment made in terms of subsection 5
Financial resources derived from the sale of any asset of the Commission
Money borrowed under section 5(2)
Financial resources received by the way of donations or grants from any source in Namibia, and, subject to the approval of the Minister in agreement with the Minister responsible for finance, from any source outside Namibia;
Financial resources obtained through the sale of i) publications prepared by or for the Commission; ii) reference material, data and information; and
Any other financial resources which may be accrue to the Commission
It is also defined that the Commission should manage the Fund in accordance with sound principles, by observing the measures implemented to protect its liquidity.
The Act defines that the money available in the Fund should be used:
To pay the administrative expenses of the Commission;
To pay the administrative expenses of every council;
To fund the costs of any project or other activity of the Commission undertaken by the Commission or by any research institute with the approval of the Commission; and
To pay remunerations and allowances payable by the Commission and such other expenses incurred by the Commission in the performance of its functions.
In order to ensure that national benefit is derived from research excellence, the Commission supports a continuum of research activities, which are here defined as the “FUNDING PROGRAMME”
The main idea behind this categorization is that research and innovation capabilities can be built from the bottom up and step by step depending on the availability of funds. At the on-set of the National Research, Science and Technology Fund, the present priority would be given to fund projects presented by research teams in which there is at least one high level researcher.
Research needs to be carried out within a framework that demonstrates accountability to the government and the community, is transparent, is performance-driven and is capable of highlighting the return (economic or otherwise) on investment in research, thus a set of transparent processes are required in the operation of the National Fund.
The Foundation should in close coordination with the Commission, undertake periodic studies on research and innovation activities in Namibia, work closely with the groups or institutions producing indicators, so that gaps and new priorities are readily identified for financing.
In order to identify the type of research projects that the Fund could finance in the short and long term, the following is a tentative and preliminary list of possibilities; for each type of research activity it is possible to build the “call for project.
Objective: Strengthen R&D capacities through the insertion of Namibian researchers or foreign researchers in R&D activities in Namibia. This call will co finance the repatriation of Namibian researchers in a permanent manner or the insertion of high level foreign researchers in R&D organizations or enterprises for a minimum period of one year and a maximum of three years.
Objective: For support of a young scientist, committed to research, in need of additional research training. It is in this type of projects that the Fund can finance young researchers, who often have difficulty to access funding. It is for this group of “future” researchers that the Capacity Building Programme must be implemented.
Objective: To support a set of projects which demonstrate an essential element of unity and interdependence, i.e., a system of research activities and projects directed toward a well-defined research program goal. The support will include planning for new programs, expansion or modification of existing resources, and feasibility studies to explore various approaches to the development of multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary programs that offer potential solutions to problems of special significance to the Commission. These studies may lead to the establishment of specialized or comprehensive centres.
Objective: To support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project to be performed by the named investigator(s) in an area representing his specific interest and competencies.
Objective: To provide research support specifically limited in time and amount for studies in categorical program areas. Small grants provide flexibility for initiating studies which are generally for preliminary short-term projects and are non-renewable. The concept of seed funding can be introduced in this category, as the Fund can provide resources for scientific feasibility studies.
Objective: To support recipient sponsored and directed international, national or regional meetings, conferences and workshops.
Objective: To provide support designed to develop, test and evaluate research activities, and to foster the application of existing knowledge for specific areas. The funding should support testing, by means of a research design, the effectiveness of the transfer and application of techniques or interventions derived from a research base. These are usually cooperative programs between participating principal investigators, institutions, and the sponsoring Institution(s).
Objective: To encourage new exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects.
Objective: To support research undertaken as part of an academic program and a specific research project to qualify for a doctorate. At the onset no individual dissertation grants will be provided. However, budgets for each project can contemplate dissertation support as part of the research activities.
Objective: To provide pre-doctoral individuals from minority groups with supervised research training in specified social related areas leading toward an advanced research degree (e.g., MSc or Ph.D.)
Objective: To support postdoctoral research training to individuals to broaden their scientific background and extend their potential for research in specified priority areas.
Objective: Strengthen the local and regional research capacities that will enhance social groups in different regions of the country and which will support the implementation of regional development plans and productive sectors
Objective: Finance research projects that will improve and strengthen institutional capacities for the management of environmental risks in vulnerable areas, through the generation of new knowledge or technological developments whose outputs will support the design and application of adaptation and mitigation measures.
Objective: Strengthen the national capacity to undertake research for the protection of the natural patrimony of the country in specifically designed areas (e.g. national parks).
Objective: Promote studies and research in health sciences that respond to the priorities of the country in order to improve the quality of life of people and the environment. Such research must stem from the priorities as expressed in the national R&D strategy.
Objective: Promote studies and research in the social sciences in the priority areas established in the national R&D Strategy. Proposals of quantitative and qualitative nature are acceptable with different views and methodologies, but always maintaining scientific merit, pertinence with the plans and social impact with a multi or inter disciplinary view.
Objective: Strengthen the capacity to undertake research and technology development through the purchase of specialized equipment with the view of establishing or improving competitive excellence centres. Expensive capital items such as an electron microscope or expensively equipped laboratories that can serve many branches of science, should be classified as ‘National Facilities’ and opened to all bona-fide researchers. The use of such equipment should be open for use by any researcher wishing to make use of it.
Objective: Provide support to studies and research in the basic sciences, applied sciences and technological development in priority areas determined in the National R&D Strategy.
Objective: Stimulate scientific cooperation between the Namibian, regional and international community so that collaboration may impact on national research efforts in the frontiers of knowledge.
Objective: Support the generation and/or mobilization of knowledge to link S&T development to social challenges through applied research that will contribute to identifying, analysing and solving the poorer communities. Projects should contain strategies of high impact that can be duplicated in other regions of the country. Independent of the type of project in the pyramid composing the Programme, this (Final) Draft Procedure Manual provides a guideline for financing the different types of projects in the Programme in Section D.
Objective: To support the efforts of enterprises to innovate products, processes or organization / administration. Funding can be provided to projects that will contribute to the technological modernization of enterprises that comply with environmental protection norms, hygiene and security and do not discriminate gender.