In the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic many countries including the Republic of Mauritius are confronted with a slow economic recovery. In January 2022, the International Monetary Fund downgraded global growth for 2022 by 0.5 percentage point to 4.4 per cent, mainly on account of significant downward growth revisions for the US, China, Brazil and Mexico.
As Mauritius copes with these tumultuous times, experts believe that innovation is key to navigating the ‘new normal’.
As per the Government Programme 2020-2024, the Government of the Republic of Mauritius has a clear vision for the future of the Country. One of the vision ambitions to build “an economy in the league of high-income countries, driven by technology and innovation and bringing higher levels of growth, equality and shared prosperity”.
“Les Assises de la Recherche et de l’Innovation 2022 (ARI 2022)” proposes to be a platform that initiates a national dialogue while concurrently providing insights on emerging and frontier innovations.
The aim of ARI 2022 is to set the foundations for the development of a National Masterplan /Roadmap for technology, research, and Innovation. The objectives are more specifically outlined as follows:
Development of a National Roadmap
Provision of insight in emerging technologies and sectors
Identification and introduction of strategies to drive leadership in emerging technologies and sectors
Elimination of barriers to innovation
Coordination of disparate policies toward research, technology commercialization, investments, education, tax, trade, IP, government procurement, and regulatory policies in an integrated fashion that drives economic growth
Chart incentives for fostering innovation
National Innovation Campaign
A National Innovation Campaign has been launched on the 6th of December 2021. This Campaign has as main aim to rekindle the innovation spirit amongst the Mauritian population and make the public aware of the opportunities made available by the MRIC and other partner organisations to facilitate their path on the innovation journey. This campaign embraces a 360 degree approach whereby all media supports including metro and busses will be utilised to ventilate the philosophy of innovation to the Mauritian population. This campaign will span from December 2021 to build up momentum and interest for Les Assises.
National Innovation Challenge (NIC)
The National Innovation Challenge (NIC) is a programme, that has been approved by the Council of MRIC and by Cabinet (9 of 19 February 2021).
The National Innovation Challenge (NIC) Programme, which is a National Innovation Initiative, aims at uncovering and fostering local and professional innovations created by Mauritians working in a variety of fields from Academia, Start-up and Micro Companies, SMEs, communities to local schools and home inventions. The NIC showcases, nurtures and rewards the best ideas leading to potentially life changing solutions from the Mauritian population.
The National Innovation Challenge (NIC) was launched on the 27th of May 2021 during a press conference by The Hon. Minister for Information Technology, Communication and Innovation.
The competition has completed its audition phase and is on track for the Idea Acceleration phase.
As per the schedule of the competition, the award ceremony is planned in April 2022. It is hence proposed that this event takes place 1 week prior to Les Assises for sustaining momentum and interest for this mega-event.
This event was in a hybrid mode (both in person and virtual). More details are provided in the subsequent sections.
New sectors of the Economy
Dr. Drishty Ramdenee, Head of Department Ocean & BIO Economy, Economic Development Board (EDB) (Mauritius)
Implementing Innovative Technology: Towards the Transformation of Academia (video)
Prof Lina Pelliccione, Pro Vice-Chancellor & President, Curtin (Mauritius)
Space, the final Frontier of Innovation
Mr Shantanu Bhatawdekar, Scientific Secretary, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) (India)
African Imperatives for Innovation (Video conference)
Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng
Director of Science, Policy and Capacity, UNESCO (Ghana)
Future of ICT Sector in Mauritius
Mr Deelam Baichu
Founder, Zapproach Ltd
Creativity and Innovation in Mauritius
Mr Avinash Meetoo
Head of Experimentation Accelerator Lab and Digital Advocate, UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles (Mauritius)
Sustainable Innovation in the World (Video Conference)
Mr Leon Chanter
Business Development and Transactions, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Australia)
Her Excellency Dr Kate O’Shaughnessy
Australian High Commission
Theme 4: Blue and Green Innovation