Speech - ‘MRC Postgraduate Conference 2014 ‘– Thursday 30 October at 9.00 a.m - Venue : MRC, Level 6, Ebene Heights
I am told that the MRC is currently providing financial support to 41 registered MPhil/PhD students who are undertaking their studies at the University of Mauritius, University of Technology, Mauritius and the Open University of Mauritius in strategic areas such as:
- Ocean Technology & Marine Resources/Ocean Economy
- Water Resources/Water Security
- Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
- Biopharmaceutical & Biomedical Engineering
- Waste Management & Waste Recycling
- Social/Economic Sciences
- Agriculture /Food Security
- Information & Communication Technology
- Financial Services
- Science and Technology Education
- Land, Transport and Logistics / Land Use
I am also pleased to note that this year 20 beneficiaries of the grants will be presenting their MPhil/PhD projects and prizes will be awarded to 3 best presenters in the field of Natural Sciences and Engineering and to 1 best presenter in Social Sciences.
The postgraduate grant which is wholly funded by Government is one of the measures taken to promote research and innovation. In addition, to this project, we have initiated a number of other measures such as:
- the Best Mauritian Scientist Award” to recognise and reward the work of Mauritian scientists,
- participation of Mauritian scientists in the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting,
- the appointment of National Research Chairs; and
- the creation of a research fund to finance research projects together with the private sector.
Most importantly, we are setting up an IIT Research Academy which is working with the IIT Delhi, will become a full-fledged IIT, with a strong focus on research in science and engineering. This Institution is expected to become one of the most prestigious research institutions of this region.
Research and innovation are critical for the development of knowledge and contribute substantially to economic growth and social development. I need not stress the importance of research in improving lives and promoting sustainable development. Right now, researchers in various parts of the world are focusing on a vaccine for Ebola.
It is important to have a pool of researchers in different fields and a multidisciplinary approach to research. This year, we amended the Mauritius research Council Act to provide for the setting up of a National Research and Innovation Advisory Committee with the participation of Nobel laureates.
Government is investing a lot in terms of funds and support, while putting up new facilities. Our objective as a Government is to sustain a holistic approach which will allow a better quality of life and maximum opportunities for all Mauritian citizens and this can only be achieved through education and knowledge creation and knowledge transfer.
I urge you to make the most of every opportunity to benefit from such conferences. I am certain that listening to these presentations will somehow trigger the interest of our young graduates in research and in further studies.
And now I have the pleasure to declare the MRC Postgraduate Conference 2014 open.
Dr R. Jeetah Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research & Technology