By Johannes Hangula
AT a ceremony held last week, the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) awarded a total of N$6 million to 12 successful applicants under the first phase of the Innovation Challenge.
The Innovation Challenge call attracted over 61 applications out of which 20 were shortlisted, which were then presented to an external panel of judges in June. These 12 projects will receive N$6 million over the course of two years – signifying the importance NCRST attaches to innovation as a vehicle to achieving Namibia’s prosperity, where youths are empowered to contribute towards employment creation and economic growth.
Speaking at the event, Daisry Mathias, presidential advisor on Youth Matters and Enterprise Development said, “Nations are built and made great, by outstanding men and women. It is our innovative problem solving and ability to add value to life that will distinguish Namibians. We are therefore dedicated to creating an enabling environment for young Namibians to grow their talent, seize opportunities and sustain a livelihood out of their inventive abilities.
“Congratulations to the remarkable young Namibians, who are the grant recipients for phase one,” she said.
In his speech NCRST CEO Dr. Eino Mvula indicated that NCRST has endeavored to be a relevant public enterprise that serves as key contributor to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
He added that, “Science, technology and innovation is cross cutting and contributes to all five pillars of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Our approach will however be deliberate to support the Government’s strategic intent to develop and harness human resource capacity, to contribute towards economic advancement. I would also like to encourage all innovators out there, young or old, that you too can achieve this level of greatness. You too have the potential to receive the awards; you can start by responding to the next phase of the Innovation Challenge, which opens on 15 November 2016”.
NCRST’s Funding Programme comprises of competitive programmes which are made available to the public through an open bid process or a ‘Call for Proposals’. All calls are advertised in the print media, on the NCRST website, through our mailing lists and through various social media platforms.
Once an application is received, it is subjected to internal screening; external
evaluation; approval by the board of commissioners; announcement of the grant decision; signature of a grant agreement for successfully applicants. Each grantee is required to sign an agreement with NCRST which spells out certain conditions that must be fulfilled. One will also be required to draft a final project budget and work-plan must then be agreed upon by the NCRST and the grantee prior to project execution.
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