The National Innovation Framework (NIF) 2018-2030, which aims at creating an ecosystem for innovation to facilitate the transition of Mauritius from a middle-income economy to a high-income innovation driven economy, was launched yesterday during a half-day workshop at Cyber Tower 1, in Ebène Cyber-city.
The Framework document was prepared by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation jointly with the Mauritius Research Council, in consultation with various stakeholders.
In his address at the launch event, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr N. Poonye, pointed out that Mauritius, an upper middle income country, is poised to transition to the level of a high income economy where innovation becomes the key driver of socioeconomic development. At the same time, the country has the potential to steer the African continent into a new wave of growth and become a gateway for global business to enter Africa, he recalled.
According to the Acting Permanent Secretary, as a Small Island Developing State, Mauritius tends to think that innovation is difficult to achieve because of limited resources and its geographical location. Yet this year, the country has proved that innovation also depends on hard work, confidence and self-belief. He referred now Mauritius has been successful in developing a nanosatellite which will be deployed into space from the International Space Station in late 2019.
Speaking about the NIF, Mr Poonye highlighted that the framework represents a serious attempt at inculcating and sustaining an innovation culture with an important human dimension of engaging people. It has set aims and objectives for the people of Mauritius, namely a high-standard of living; enhancement of the competitiveness of Mauritius; creation of jobs; and healthy and sustainable environment.
NIF 2018-2030 is the culmination of a highly consultative process involving both public and private sectors. It also adopted an evidence-based approach using actual data pertaining to different innovation indicators and was formulated based on international best practices. The framework was strengthened with the support of two Innovation experts from Nishith Desai Ltd, India.
Some of the salient points addressed in the document include Infrastructure, Capacity-Building, Incentives and Governance. The critical roles of the private sector and industry-academia partnerships are highlighted. Measures pertaining to Emerging Sectors Social Innovation, Intellectual Property and sharing of data/information are presented.
Furthermore, structures and platforms that should be put in place, in terms of capacity building, infrastructure and funding are elaborated.
The document also presents the Governance Mechanism that should be put in place at national level to drive the process of Innovation.
The NIF culminates into five major strategic directions as outlined in the Action plan for 2018-2030: Building capacity for promoting innovation; fostering regional and international collaborative mechanisms; setting up the innovation infrastructure; developing innovation incentives; and, setting up the institutional and governance framework to facilitate and monitor Innovation.