NISTI making progress on three science, technology, innovation projects | 16 June 2020
Source: Seychelles Nation Newspaper
Remarkable progress is being made by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation to realise three key projects to boost the country’s capacity to ensure a more coordinated approach to the management of its research, research findings, access to data and to prevent duplication all in relation to science, technology, innovation and the blue economy.
Almost 13 months since the cabinet of ministers gave the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation (Nisti) the green light for the projects, the chief executive of Nisti, Xavier Estico, said they have been very busy pushing forward for the setting up of the projects.
The three projects are: a National Research Foundation, a National Knowledge Management Engagement Platform and the Blue Economy Regional Incubator.
Mr Estico detailed that the National Research Foundation is approaching implementation stage – its terms of reference has been developed, its operating procedures and other related management aspects, mechanism to allow for foreign permit and application for research in Seychelles, to support and access research funding, publication of research findings among other related aspects are all being finalised.
With regard to theNational Knowledge Management Engagement Platform, Mr Estico noted that if funding had been available Nisti would have already completed its establishment.
He explained that a subscription fee needs to be paid to acquire the necessary software technology which would be customised for Seychelles context to be added to Nisti’s website whose development have also encountered some delay due to the unavailability of funds.
“But its digital architecture has already been designed, the technology to be used put in place. We are just waiting for some funding for the final phase as well as to complete our website,” Mr Estico highlighted.
He further noted that all the work has been carried out by Nisti which has the technical expertise in-house and has not required any outside consultant for the work.
Mr Estico also pointed out that delays to numerous other projects being carried out by Nisti have been due to the displacement of Nisti from its location at Bel Ombre since last year, robbing the institute of a physical head office. Up to now its employees are still working from home. But Mr Estico has expressed the hope that they expect to set up office in a new location soon.
As for the Blue Economy, Mr Estico said it is a very important sector especially now at a time when a lot of emphasis is being placed on economic diversification. He said Nisti has received support from the AfDB to develop the Blue Economy Regional Incubator.
Mr Estico explained that the project will encompass different incubator components in the Indian Ocean which relate to the blue economy to become a strong and competitive force in the region.
“The project concept has been submitted to the department of the Blue Economy and the department of Foreign Affairs to be presented to the Indian Ocean Commission ministerial meeting,” Mr Estico pointed out.
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