Les Assises de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, a first being organised in Mauritius, from 27 to 29 April 2022, to design strategies and chart incentives to foster innovation in all sectors, kicked off today at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun.
The Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, the Chairperson of the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), Dr Kaviraj Sharma Sukon, the Executive Director of the MRIC, Prof Theesan Bahorun, and other personalities were present at the opening ceremony.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Roopun commended this initiative of the Ministry and the MRIC which is part of the National Innovation Campaign and in line with the vision of Government to build a strong framework for economic progress and sustainability while improving the quality of life of citizens. The objective, the President emphasised, is to set the foundations for the development of a National Roadmap for technology, research and innovation.
Mauritius, he observed, has to create an environment which is conducive to attracting foreign talents and highly skilled labour. Sophisticated competencies are of utmost importance, he further added. The need to make impactful progress with a transdisciplinary approach to research and innovation was also highlighted by the President.
President Roopun called upon key stakeholders from the private sector, governmental agencies, association of professionals and the civil society to join hands together to harness innovation for furthering socio-economic development. He made an appeal towards friendly countries having global reputation in innovation to deepen collaboration with Mauritius so as to establish strong international partnerships between local research performers and international counterparts.
Minister Balgobin, in his address, dwelt on Government’s vision 2030 to propel Mauritius in the league of high-income countries while highlighting that technology, research and innovation are the enablers towards this objective. “As a nation we need to strive and make innovation a reality”, he said. Innovation, he emphasised, can thrive in an environment where there is interaction and brainstorming whereby people are connected. This innovation roadmap will better position Mauritius as regards technology, research, and innovation, he added.
Dr Sukon, for his part, spoke of the importance of holding the Assises which will help in transforming Mauritius into an innovation-driven country and indicated that the collaboration of everyone is needed to this end. According to him, research and innovation are vital tools par excellence to overcome challenges.
As for Prof Bahorun, he pointed out that the Assises is providing a unique platform that initiates dialogue on research and innovation and also insights on emerging technologies. “This is an important event with prominent international experts to share reflections and good practices on research and innovation policies”, he stated.
Les Assises de la Recherche et de l’Innovation is seeing the participation of the public and private sector, academia, researchers, local and international experts from several countries such as the USA, Sweden, France, Finland, India, Ghana and Australia, to discuss and share best practices with regards to research and innovation.
It is focusing on six priority areas which are namely, health and wellness innovation; financial innovation; travel and tourism and entertainment innovation; blue and green innovation; social and growth innovation; and emerging and enabling innovation.