Mauritius invests in research & innovation scheme to sharpen competitive edge
The initiative, which has been granted a provision of Rs 100 million, will cover the financing of research and innovation projects, including a collaborative research scheme, small business innovative scheme and research by public sector institutions.(Image: UALR)
Mauritius is investing in a collaborative research and development grant scheme to promote innovative ideas and commercialize them to create jobs, and ultimately, wealth.
The Collaborative Research and Innovation (CRI) grant scheme was launched Wednesday July 16, 2014 in Port Louis to improve the competitiveness of the island economy.
The initiative, which has been granted a provision of Rs 100 million, will cover the financing of research and innovation projects, including a collaborative research scheme, small business innovative scheme and research by public sector institutions.
A joint venture has also been established to provide opportunities for local companies across public and private sectors to undertake sustainable development projects and help transform Mauritius into a knowledge industry.
In his address during the launch ceremony, Mauritius Financial Secretary Dev Manraj emphasized the importance of inculcating a culture of science, research and innovation among the citizens of the island economy.
Under this scheme, local companies which are willing to undertake a project can either partner with a local research agency, a tertiary education institution or opt for an international institution.
“This scheme is an ideal platform to give opportunities to people to invest more in research and development which are the prerequisites for a competitive economy,” Dev Manraj said.
He also spoke on the need to grow the island economy to reach the status of a high income country, a milestone that the government is hoping to reach by 2020.
The project proposals will be monitored by a Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) co-chaired by the Executive Director of the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) and the Director of the Joint Economic Council (JEC) in collaboration with the Finance Ministry.
The project proposals should be focused towards industry-oriented research that will enhance socio-economic benefits and should fall in the priority list identified by the RDWG, such as biotechnology; ocean economy; medical or pharmaceuticals devices; manufacturing and textiles.
The projects should also contain innovative concepts with a view to sharpening the island’s competitive edge in line with agreed principles of sustainable development.
In addition, the government is also providing a matching grant of up to Rs 5 million per project for a duration not exceeding 24 months.
The funding will covered the concept feasibility, refinement and commercial application.
Furthermore, part of the investment should be borne by the companies with a minimum cash or kind contribution of 20% of the total project value, and not exceeding 30% of the total project value.
The Joint Economic Council, the Mauritius Research Council and the Board of Investment jointly noted that this programme will encourage more people to invest in research and development, which is the cornerstone of a modern and an innovation driven economy.