The NEPAD – Southern Africa Network for Biosciences brought together regional government representatives together with science, technology and innovations implementers and private companies to discuss the upcoming BioFISA II Mobility, Seed and Flagship Grants as well as cofunding requirements from implementing partners and other mechanisms of support and collaboration. The meeting was held at the NEPAD-SANBio Hub, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa.
In his welcoming remarks Acting SANBio Hub manager Mr Fanie Marais said: “Through the SANBio Hub the Southern African region can leverage the extensive experience and world-class facilities at the CSIR to accelerate technology development”.
Furthermore, he elaborated how, through the Hub, access could also be facilitated to other competencies within the CSIR (ICT, logistics, materials manufacture, resource monitoring and built environment planning) to facilitate the implementation of innovation programmes to realise maximum societal impact in reasonable time frames.
The delegates discussed their expectations for the network together with the SANBio Secretariat and the BioFISA II Programme Unit in the following areas: information dissemination and database development for the region; thematic areas for upcoming calls on the seed and flagship grants; and strategies for co-funding and financing. However, the delegates also toured the NEPAD-SANBio Hub facilities to familiarise themselves with the kinds of the infrastructure available.
The meeting was attended by representatives particularly from the Ministries of Science and Technology, Commissions of Science and Technology, SANBio node coordinators and member states, as well as other collaborative partners from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
The meeting was concluded with the BioFISA II Programme launch event where the Programme was officially launched by the South African Minister of Science and Technology, the Ambassador of Finland in South Africa, and the Head of NEPAD Science, Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH). Click here to see pictures