By Lovemore Khomo
The Malawi National Commission for Science and Technology-NCST is set to launch the first ever Grand Challenges that strategizes on Science, Innovation and Technology research on 30th August in Lilongwe.
According to NCST Acting Director General Gift Kadzamira the event will help to expand the frontiers of human knowledge, tackle important problems related to energy, health, education, the environment, national security and global development.
The strategy will support the most creative scientists in Malawi to collaborate with their partners in Africa and globally, to implement research that fosters innovation in solving the most critical development challenges in Malawi and Africa.
It is also expected to broaden collaboration and mutual on research and development funding for ground-breaking innovative research projects.
According to Kadzamira the Grand Challenges will be implemented through four models; first being matched funding where funders commit matched funding on a 50:50, basis and supports inception of the programme to enable its kick-off.
She further explained that access to additional funding is another model which looks into various streams of funding sources from development partners that share aligned goals and ambitions.
“Collaboration and partnerships encourages good relationship between governments, academia, industry, and civil society. On ideation and innovation, The Grand Challenges Family often collaborates on proposals for joint calls to support research and innovation.” added Kadzamira.
On the other hand, the Grand Challenges expects to transform Africa into a knowledge based and innovation led society by highlighting the criticality of science technology and innovations in sectors such as agriculture, energy, mining, environment, health, water and security.
Grand Challenges are fundamental problems in science or engineering, with broad applications, whose solution would be enabled by the application of high-performance computing resources that could become available in the near future.
The event is ochastrated by African Union Development Agency-AUDA- NEPA an arm that plays a critical role in implementing the Science, technology and innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024).