The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) and the National Commission for Research, Science and Technology (NCRST)earlier this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) intended to support applied research and capacity development on the socio-economic impact (and assess capacity) of the usage of information and communication technology.
“The MOU will promote applied research on and create awareness of cyber security threats and further seek to develop globally-relevant strategies that would assist to secure the safety of users of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT),” said Festus K. Mbandeka Chief Executive Officer of CRAN.
Mbandeka committed CRAN to provide resources to the Research, Science and Technology Fund for joint funding of the planned collaboration and to provide topics of research in ICT that are in line with the objectives of the Research, Science and Technology Fund for funding consideration.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Eino Mvula, Chief Executive Officer of NCRST said “the partnership between CRAN and NCRST would further stimulate the growth and development of applied research and application on sectoral information systems and promote green ICT practices with specific focus on e-waste”.
Dr. Mvula added “the NCRST shall undertake to provide resources through the Research, Science and Technology Fund for joint funding of planned collaborative efforts; manage the research and development grant in line with Grant Management rules and guidelines of the Research, Science and Technology Fund; and provide technical and financial reports to CRAN”.
The two entities will undertake to establish a joint technical committee to discuss and monitor implementation of the MOU which will remain in force for a period of three (3) years after which it shall be automatically extended for further periods of three (3) years.
Dr Mvula said “This agency to agency agreement that we are going to sign today is based on the recognition of the important and complimentary roles that our institutions can play in developing research, science, technology and innovation in Namibia. The NCRST and CRAN started discussing this collaboration last year and we thought that it is important for our two institutions to enter into a strategic partnership to foster Research and Development (R&D) with special emphasis on empowering local talent and skills of enterprises to innovate in order to meet global demands for Namibian ICT products and services.”
A Joint Technical Committee would be constituted in terms of this MOU to ensure its effective implementation.
The committee has clear terms of references which includes amongst others the formulation of joint calls for application for the co-funded research and development grants and evaluation of applications received under the joint calls.
Mbandeka said “the joint technical committee will formulate and implement robust approaches in order to promote the exchange of information to further the development of cooperation between CRAN and NCRST, in order to address challenges and optimise on the opportunities for improvement as may be encountered in terms of this agreement.”
This MoU will remain in force for a period of three (3) years after which it shall be automatically extended for further periods of three (3) years. It is our common goal as strategic partners to achieve the socio-economic development of Namibia through research in the field of information and communication technologies.