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
In terms of Section 18 of the Research, Science and Technology Act, the Commission, once in every three years, or at such other intervals as the Minister may determine, must prepare a national programme for research, science and technology for the following three years, or such other period as the Minister may determine, which programme must:
set out the national direction on RSI for Namibia
review the state of RSI in Namibia for the previous three years
identify shortcomings and priorities for RSI
set out the RSI projects and requirements for such projects of every RSI organisation, institution or body in receipt of moneys from the Fund, and includes the Commission’s observations and recommendations on such projects and requirements in view of the national policy for RSI
set out the programmes and projects envisaged by the Commission to be undertaken by it or a council during the period covered by the national programme
assess the previous national programme, if any
The NCRST has commenced with the process of developing the National Pogrammes, which should cover the period 2014/15 to 2017/18. The National RSTI Programme would address challenges in the national innovation system (NIS) by devising appropriate interventions to improve on the RSTI enabling framework in the policy areas, human resources and institutional framework, as essential tools for addressing needs in the basic enablers and economic priority set out in the NDP4. The Programme will also deal with interventions aimed at strengthening the NIS to enable it to make the necessary contributions.
Additionally the Programme will have a proactive approach by forecasting future trends and thus employing interventions in promising research, science and innovation areas to take advantage of promising areas with a long term view. Other areas of focus will be promoting disciplinary integration through development relevant inter and multi-disciplinary science, technology and innovation research, underpinned by the principle of sustainable development. Thus the focus will be science, technology and innovation research and their intersection with economic, environmental and social aspects of the Namibian society, economic landscape and the environment.
Furthermore the Programme will have a strong monitoring and evaluation framework based on identified RSTI indicators including the performance indicators of all policies related and interacting with the RSTI policies and their impacts on each other. Thus the development of the Programme will be done with the parallel process of collecting baseline indicators such as researchers, research institutions, patents, publications etc.
Furthermore the law prescribe that the Programme is a three yearly programme approved and endorsed by Cabinet and National Assembly. As the NCRST is only a policy institution tasked with coordination, facilitation and monitoring RSTI activities the implementation of the programme activities will mainly be done by all in research, science, technology and innovation sectors in the national innovation system.
With the last RST Policy having been formulated in 1999 and the subsequent enabling act enacted in 2004, it is evident that the there are certain policy challenges compounded by the current and emerging issues, affecting our economy and society, which could become critical and impact on our day-to-day life, influencing our well-being and quality of life.
Some of the overwhelming challenges which the current RST Policy and Act, does not address some emerging issues. The outdated, policy and legislation could also hamper our efforts to harness opportunities for enhancing our quality of life through advancements in Biotechnology, ICT and nanotechnology. With the implementation of this National Programme on RTSI, we are presented with opportunities; to formulate and design evidence-based and robust RSTI related policies and legislation that would guide investments in science, research and innovation during this RSTI Programme and NDP 4 and beyond.
Though the development of a RSTI system supported by robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism, effort needs to be made to ensure the ongoing improved design of policies taking into account highly dynamic and competitive environment. Using our limited resources, we will capitalize on our potential strengths whilst ensuring a well-connected strategy to developments in international research.
The Commission is undertaking a thorough mapping exercise of the research and innovation landscape, with the aim of identifying who is doing what, any existing gaps and promote networking. The commission will also carry out benchmarking studies comparing Namibia’s R&I policies and performance with other countries, which would lead to a review and formulation of appropriate policies and legislative instrument to support RSTI in Namibia.
Section 19 of the Research, Science and Technology, 2004, mandates the Commission to establish one or more councils in the research, science and technology sector, from time to time in the prescribed manner and after consultation with the Minister. The Councils shall to perform such functions under the supervision of the Commission as prescribed and as may be assigned to it by the Commission. The establishment of the following councils is currently being finalized.
To commence with the functions of the Biosafety Council as specified under Section 15 of the Biosafety Act (Act 7 of 2006), the Commission on Research, Science and Technology has invited nominations to serve on the Biosafety Council as provided by Section 5 of the Biosafety Act and Section 19 (1) of the Research, Science and Technology Act (Act no 23 of 2004). The Council consists of persons in the following subject areas as specified in Section 6 of the Biosafety Act:
Environmental issues, including environmental assessment;
Public health issues, including food hygiene and food safety;
Animal health and welfare or other related agricultural issues;
Research, science and technology; and
Trade and economy.
The overall function of the IKSC is to facilitate the developmental agenda related to Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) in all sectors. This include, policy development, provide a strategic direction on matters related to IKS e.g. ethics in IKS research. The council may also perform functions such as:
Enhance, recognise, develop, and promote the value and the role of Indigenous Knowledge and Technology for development.
Facilitate the integration of IKS into the Education Curriculum.
Facilitate and advise on the process of collecting and sharing of information on IKS practices in Namibia.
Advise on Intellectual Property Rights issues pertaining to IKS, storing (database) and protecting information and data.
The following sectors are or will be represented on the council:
Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Ministry of Trade and Industry
The overall function of this Council is to facilitate the developmental of a national agenda related to Space Science in all sectors. This may include national space policy development, provide a strategic direction on matters related to Space Science e.g. ethics in Space Science research, identify space activities relevant to Namibia, and promote Space research and development.
More Councils could be established in priority areas as identified in the National Programme on RSTI.