This award recognises individuals who are newcomers (less than 5 years in the profession), who have, within their own organisations and National System of Innovation made a significant impact on the innovation process and who have contributed, through effectiveness and dedication to Technology Transfer and Innovation, which is one of Necsa’s critical success factors/Business Values.
The DST/Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) Excellence in Research and Innovation Management Awards were held at Indaba Hotel, Johannesburg on the 13th May 2015.
Africa needs to invest more resources in universities as a commitment to genuinely contribute to economic development and poverty and disease alleviation on the continent, said the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor. These Awards celebrate excellence in research and innovation in Southern Africa.
The Minister said that, over the past few years, there had been a notable increase in the demand for higher education in Africa, overstretching institutions beyond capacity. The majority of mobile students come from less developed countries to developed countries, while mobility within the Commonwealth countries is influenced by cost factors, increased competition in the market and skills shortages.
She said while South Africa had benefited from this increased mobility, the country had not managed to expand the number of researchers, warning that the country was edging towards a demographic cliff ,as half of the country's professors were due to retire in the next decade. "This is worrying because of their research output. Back in 1994, the over-50-year-old researchers only produced one in 10 credited publications. Now these over-50-year-olds produce five in ten of our scientific papers," said Minister Pandor.
Minister Pandor encouraged students from around the world to study in South Africa, and reiterated government's intention to step up efforts to attract postgraduate students and postdoctoral scientists to the country.