Mauritius: Minister Balgobin reiterates Govt’s commitment to support projects in research and innovation

Mauritius: Government is committed to implement the National Roadmap for Research and Innovation (NRSI) of the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) and find funding for projects in research and innovation, stated the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, today, at the Core Building in Ebene.

He was speaking at the launch of second call for proposals under the Innovation Boost Grant for the implementation of short-term and medium-term projects emanating from Les Assises de la Recherche et de l’Innovation and the NRSI. The Chairperson of the MRIC, Dr K S Sukon, and the Executive Director, Professor T Bahorun, were also present.

Minister Balgobin indicated that at least 21 projects will be selected for funding by the MRIC under seven themes namely Financial Innovation; Blue and Green Innovation; Health and Wellness Innovation; IT Emerging and Enabling Technologies Innovation; Social and Grassroot Innovation; Travel, Tourism and Entertainment Innovation; and Rodrigues Innovation.

He underlined that short term projects will be financed to the tune of a maximum of Rs 1 million over a period of one year and as for long term projects, they will be funded to a maximum of Rs 2 million spanning over two years.

He recalled that a total of 130 applications were received for the previous financial year following call for proposals under the Innovation Boost Grant, out of which 30 projects were retained for funding by the MRIC to the tune of Rs 23.5 million. He also underscored Government’s engagement towards creating a conducive ecosystem for novel ideas and supporting projects in the field of research and innovation to further propel growth and create employment.

In this context, Minister Balgobin underscored that MRIC embarked on a new transformative journey following amendments brought to the MRIC Act in July 2021 to conduct research on identified national priority areas. Since then, he remarked, the MRIC has been engaged in new endeavours of promoting research and innovation by putting in place a series of schemes and incentives.

On this score, he invited private institutions and companies to avail of the schemes of the MRIC so as to tap into their potentials and explore new avenues in research and innovation. Speaking on the projects, he informed that applicants can check the website of the MRIC, www.mric.mu, for additional information and the deadline for submitting their applications is on 16 October 2023.

As for Dr Sukon, he appealed to the private sector for their contribution in boosting the ICT sector adding that a strong public-private partnership will help generate maximum grants and assistance to projects.

For his part, Professor Bahorun underlined that research and innovation are the prerequisite in the face of new challenges and new environmental circumstances. The MRIC, he stressed, is called upon to play a prominent role with its new strategic plan geared towards boosting innovation and position Mauritius as research and innovation hub.

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