The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) and the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote applied research and create awareness of cyber security threats and further seek to develop globally-relevant strategies that would assist to secure the safety of users of ICTs.
Speaking at the occasion,the CEO of the NCRST, Dr Eino Mvula, said they are excited about the partnership between the two institutions, as they believe it would further stimulate the growth and development of applied research and application on sectoral information systems and promote green ICT practices with specific focus on e-waste. “We shall provide resources through the Research, Science and Technology Fund for joint funding of planned collaborative efforts; manage the research and development grant in line with grant management rules and guidelines of the Fund; and provide technical and financial reports to CRAN,” Mvula said.
He said they also expect through this initiative, to build collaborative capacities between industry, government and institutions of higher learning to address some of the challenges that are generally encountered in the innovation value chain. He said a Joint Technical Committee would be constituted in terms of this MoU to ensure its effective implementation. “The committee has clear terms of references, which include amongst others the formulation of joint calls for application for the co-funded research and development grants and evaluation of applications received under the joint calls,” he said.
The CEO of CRAN, Festus Mbandeka, said they will ensure that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) related services in the country are provided in a manner best suited to the economic and social development of Namibians. He said CRAN is also responsible for the protection of users of these services and equipment from any harm. “CRAN will contribute to and support the aims of the NCRST by targeting mutually beneficial areas in research and development and specifically those which place a special emphasis on empowering local talent and skills of enterprises, to innovate in order to meet global and national demands for Namibian ICT products and services,” explained Mbandeka.
Mbandeka said CRAN will additionally undertake to provide financial resources to the Research, Science and Technology Fund for the implementation of planned collaborative efforts: “We will further provide topics and funding for research within the ICT sector in line with the objectives of the Research, Science and Technology Fund.”