Guest Contributor | Jul 25, 2017 | 0
NCRST funds N$6 Million towards innovation
At a ceremony held last week, the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) awarded a total of six 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 2016. These 12 projects will receive a total of six million over the course of two years – signifying the importance NCRST attaches to innovation as a vehicle to achieving Namibia’s prosperity, where youth are empowered to contribute towards employment creation and economic growth.
Speaking at the event, Ms 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”.
“The NCRST has endeavoured to be a relevant Public Enterprise that serves as key contributor to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. 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,” said Dr Eino Mvula, CEO of the NCRST at Award Ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Science Commission Funding Programmes are 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 your applications are 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 guarantee is required to sign an agreement with us which spells out certain conditions that must be fulfilled. You 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.
The disbursement of funds for projects is not an ‘automatic process,’ nor are grants paid out in ‘lump sums’ to grantees. If a grantee fails to comply with the conditions as laid out, it may result in delayed disbursements or complete termination of a project.
Furthermore, all grantees are expected to provide Progress Reports on a quarterly basis or as agreed upon by the NCRST and the grant recipient, with clear deliverables, value creation and the national impact being achieved. Failure to submit the Progress Report is a serious omission that may result in the withholding of further fund disbursements or possible termination of a project.
In terms of the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), the Science Commision said the processes are periodic, technical and financial audits for funded projects in order to determine their progress; to understand any impediments to progress and to collectively find ways to mitigate any future foreseen challenges that may hamper their execution.