Thirteen researchers have received funding from the National Science and Technology Council.

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the National Technology Business Council (NTBC) have given funds to six successful Strategic Research Fund applications and seven Technology Business Development Fund applicants.

Officiating at the awards ceremony at the Raddison Blu Hotel, Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary (PS) Kayula Siame emphasised that the government recognises research and innovation as critical to the country’s development agenda and that they are instrumental in improving the quality and quantity of goods and services produced.

The PS also underlined the government’s commitment to research and innovation, as established in the 2020 National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.

“Research and innovation are expected to play critical roles in the process of diversification and in the exploration of opportunities that will enhance the productive capacities of various sectors of the economy,” Mrs Siame added.

She urged beneficiaries of Strategic Research Fund (SRF) and Technology Business Development Fund (TBDF) grants to use the funds wisely.

“I make an earnest appeal to the recipients of the grants to ensure that their projects succeed and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” Mrs Siame urged.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, NTBC Chief Executive Officer Chitundu Kasase applauded the Ministry of Higher Education for investing in research innovation and that the awards have been undergoing refinement since their inception.

Dr Kasase noted that the awards have been developed with response to the country developmental agenda.

“It is the first time the NSTC and the NTBC are jointly awarding these grants and it is gratifying to note that the awards have undergone various developments to make them more responsive to the country’s developmental agenda,” Dr Kasase Said.

And one of the recipients of the Strategic Research Fund Cephas Sialubanje thanked the Ministry of Higher Education for the grant and commended government for showing research interest.

Dr. Sialubanje, who has been given a grant to do research on the long-term consequences of the coronavirus illness on survivors in Zambia, indicated that the project would assist gather evidence of what happens to COVID-19 survivors in Zambia in the immediate, intermediate, and long-term.

“If we understand the effects of coronavirus disease on survivors in terms of viral load and strain, we will be able to advise on clinical care,” he stated.

Over K4 million has been disbursed for the seven successful projects under the Strategic Research Fund and over K 2.5 million for the 6 projects selected under the Technology Business Development Fund, through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the National Technology Business Council (NTBC).

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