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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

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Innovation and Industrial Research

INNOVATION AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH DIVISION

 

The Innovation and Industrial Research function is to create and manage platforms that promote and develop innovation, spin-offs, and value addition research and technology transfer. This is done in order to realise the objectives of the National Programme on research, Science, Technology and Innovation, National Development Programmes, and the Industrial Policy.

The Divisional Objectives are:

  • To create and manage linkages/platforms that promote:

o   Innovation and industrial research,

o   Innovations spin-offs,

o   Value addition,

o   Tech Transfer

  • To act as a facilitator to foster stakeholder cooperation in innovation and technology development
  • To facilitate R&D activities that will lead to innovative products and services
  • To contribute to the development of the RSTI infrastructure and ensuring stakeholder’s access
  • To promote knowledge transfer to end users
  • To provide basic resources for innovation

 

Some of its major functions or projects include:

 

The Establishment of the Innovation Hub;

This is aimed at providing entrepreneurs and innovators a suitable environment in which they can attain high quality standards in terms of their innovative products and services that can compete in the market. The Innovation Hub, once operational it will provide both online and outreach incubation services in its pursuit to promote competitive and sustainable businesses.

What will be offered at the Innovation Hub?

  • ICT infrastructure, including telephones, bandwidth, internet and email access and data storage facilities,
  • Advice from business mentors, venture capitalists and legal professionals,
  • Networking with established companies and like-minded innovators through regular events organised by The Innovation Hub to which clients are invited,
  • Facilitated access to sources of funds through existing relationships with other appropriate funds and schemes nationally and internationally,
  • State-of-the-art meeting facilities,
  • Pleasant business lifestyle environment,
  • Close proximity to the Institutions of High Learning.

 

Platforms for Stakeholders linkage creation

1. Demola Namibia

The NCRST is in the process of setting up a Demola Namibia to facilitate co-creation projects between university students and companies, either locally or internationally. The Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture is exploring ways of how it can extend it support to NCRST to implement Demola Namibia.

To break it down more, Demola is…

a network that consists of various partners including universities, their faculties, researchers and students, as well as private companies. Not only is Demola international, it is also interdisciplinary.

a co-creation concept that is geared to solve real challenges. Every project has an outcome – be it a new concept, a demo, or a prototype. If the partner company finds the outcome useful, the company can license or purchase the outcome, and take it for further development.

a framework that makes is easy for partners to come together and cooperate. Each partner has a clear role, and the work is guided by simple procedures. Contracts, intellectual property rights, licensing models, and other legal requirements are in place and meet national and international business standards and practices.

 

2.  Innovation and Technology Development Programme

Purpose:The NCRST's goal through the Innovation and Technology Development Programme is to nurture the newest technologies and products on the market by translating research outputs into usable everyday life technologies and products. As such, the programme is positioned to occupy a funding gap between research and commercialization of products and services that are in the advanced stage of research to early manufacturing.

 

Eligibility: The Programme is open to all Namibian institutions and individuals, however, the projects being undertaken should be technologically innovative. The eligibility criteria will be prioritized to projects that demonstrates, amongst many, as outlined in detail within the Fund Management Rules and Procedures:

  • Have potential for employment and wealth creation
  • Are a direct or indirect intervention to an identified societal challenge
  • Add value to available local raw materials
  • Have potential to contribute to import substitutions and/or export
  • Significance for Vision 2030 and National Developmental Plans (National priorities)

 

Selection and evaluating criteria: Project proposals shall be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Technology Innovativeness / usefulness of the product, service or process
  • Social and economic impact
  • Technical viability
  • Sustainability and market viability
  • Use of local raw materials
  • Clarity of the content and presentation

Funded components: The Programme will fund projects within the range of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL3-TRL8), thus covering the following components:

  • Prototypes
  • Acquisition of equipment and machinery
  • Intellectual property protection and acquisition (or advising)
  • Product/process development
  • Technology adaptation for local production
  • Product quality improvement
  • Piloting (product and market testing)

 

Frequency of the call: An Innovation and Technology Development call will be issued at least once each year.

 

3. Innovation Day

The specific ideation of innovation day is to use the platform for innovation promotion and technology markets. The services are envisaged to include:

  • Aiding idea conceptualisation
  • Promoting of newly developed products and services from NCRST funding initiatives
  • Marketing of new products, technologies or services
  • Promoting of new trends (technologies)

 

Management of the research and development towards value addition

 

Pearl Millet Project (Mahangu project as it is locally known) is a research and production facility located in Ondangwa Town. It drives innovation and value addition around the Namibian natural crop known as Pearl Millet.  Innovative post-harvest products of mahangu snacks and mahangu instant breakfast cereal were developed at the facility. The facility is run and managed by COSDEC Ondangwa through a MoU concluded in February 2015.

 

Conducting of Innovation Indicators Survey

 

The Innovation survey is an important initiative that NCRST has embarked upon as it provide data on Science, Technology and Innovation indicators. Namibia does not have STI indicators or adequate means to produce them. Other African countries face the same challenge as well. In order to address this challenge, the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) adopted the Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA) in 2005. As a result an initiative to develop science, technology and innovation indicators for African countries was launched in 2007 and Namibia joined this initiative in 2008. The first innovation survey was carried out in Namibia during the period between the September –October 2015. The survey analysis and its reports will be available at the NCRST offices when completed. Through this survey, NCRST wishes to address the national, regional and global need for STI indicators from our country. The methodology used followed the Oslo manual for international comparability.

Specific objectives of conducting Innovation survey are manifold, which includes:

  • Produce a national report on STI indicators
  • Present Namibia’s position regional in the innovation outlook publication and globally to UNESCO’s UIS department for international comparability
  • Provide current data for evidence-based decisions and policy formulation
  • Provide data on the financial and human resources available to “innovate” which is needed for planning and monitoring, evidence-based decision –making and international benchmarking
  • Provide relevant and specific innovation indicators to Namibia