Quantifying the impact of R&D

From left to right, Chief Executive of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, Dr Eino Emvula, the Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Research Centre at UNAM, Dr Nelago Indongo, Minister of Economic Planning, Hon Tom Alweendo, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Hon Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, and Chairman of the Science Commission, Professor Emeritus Andre’ du Pisani.

“Today, we are about to witness another important milestone in our country’s science, technology and innovation landscape and indeed in the history of our great nation, which is the launch of the Research and Experimental Development (R&D) census for the 2013/14 fiscal year and the Innovation census for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 fiscal years.

This will be the first ever national census on Research and Development, and on Innovation for Namibia, said Dr Eino Emvula, the Chief Executive of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology when he made the announcement last week.
“As a specialised agency of the government, responsible for promoting, coordinating and developing research, science, technology and innovation, we are also mandated in terms of section 18 of the Research, Science and Technology Act of 2004, to coordinate the development of a national programme for research, science and technology” he said.
Outlining the agency’s history, Dr Emvula said that during the development of the National Programme for Research, Science Technology and Innovation, effort was made to obtain information on the Research, Development and Innovation landscape in terms of input and output data. “This was necessary to understand where we are as a country, for us to formulate appropriate targets and initiatives. Unfortunately it was difficult for us to find quality data on R&D and innovation, and we are informed that the same challenge was experience during NDP4 formulation phase.”
It is against this background that the establishment of STI indicators was made a key priority both in the commission’s Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2019 as well as the national programme on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation for 2014 to 2017.
Explaining the importance of the two censes, Emvula said “a project of this magnitude requires close cooperation between the various stakeholders because of the resource constraints we are facing, not only on the financial side, but also on the human resource side. We are proud to work closely with the Namibia Statistics Agency in line with the a memorandum of understanding which lays the foundation for collaborative and strategic partnership between our two institutions signed last year. This agreement is similar to and agreement reached with the University of Namibia a month ago.
“We are confident that this team will be able to pull all this smoothly and produce the final; deliverable census well before the commencement of the 5th National Development Plan planning phase as well as that of the next national programme on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation.”