SME Mauritius and the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) signed on 26 November 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for new avenues of cooperation in the fields of Research, development and innovation; Entrepreneurship development; Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises engagement; and Intellectual Property Rights.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, and the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, at the Ebène Heights in Ebène.
In his address, the Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Bholah underlined that with the signing of this MoU, SME Mauritius has established yet another important partnership with the MRIC, a key stakeholder for the adoption of a strong business focus to drive entrepreneurship and growth of start-ups through research and innovation.
He also pointed out that under the MoU, the MRIC will be able to enhance its support to promote research, development and innovation in such spheres of scientific and technological activities of interest to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as guide them on the avenues of business development and support available to innovative businesses. In addition, he said it will further enhance the overall competitiveness of MSMEs.
The Minister also dwelt on the importance of sustained economic development which he stated requires diversification, and added that is precisely where entrepreneurship and innovation play their role in contributing to economic prosperity and social cohesion. The Minister underscored that over the years we have witnessed a shift of the global economy towards a mode of production in which knowledge has become a key input.
According to him, business innovation has become increasingly open and collaborative and has led to the creation of new opportunities for small firms. SMEs, he observed, can now benefit from participation in knowledge-based partnerships and networks. This, he said, is reflected in current innovation practices that rely a great deal on network policies such as cluster development programmes, collaborative research agreements, and university-industry labour mobility, among others.
Mr Bholah also enumerated on the list of policies and measures implemented by Government in favour of SMEs' development and to instil an entrepreneurship culture in the country.