Mauritius has announced the establishment of a US$3.4 million Fund to bankroll research and innovation projects that will lead to the manufacturing of products for the local as well as the African markets, PANA reported from Port-Louis Thursday.
Financial Secretary of the Government Dev Manraj, who announced the fund, said it would help to improve the competitiveness of the island and collaboration between research and industry.
”A modern economy goes through creativity. We should as such reinvent ourselves to find solutions on the medium and long terms. Moreover, we look forward to exploiting the African continent that has got lots of natural resources but suffer from a lack of technologies,” Manraj said.
According to him, Mauritius is lagging behind other countries as far as science and technology are concerned.
“We should encourage our youth to get interested in science and technology. This is our biggest challenge as it would create jobs for them,” he said.
According to Director of the Board of Investment (BOI) Ken Poonoosamy, 25 enterprises are presently operating in the field of biotechnology in Mauritius.
They generate some US$100 million annually and employ around 1,300 people.
”Biotechnology is the future and it concerns a host of activities in the industry, the environment, agro-industry and also in the ocean economy. Lots of research and innovation are engaged in this field,” Poonoosamy said.
PANA reports that the Fund offers US$170,000 per project, the duration of which will not exceed two years.
Large as well as small, medium and micro-enterprises are all eligible for the grant.