Research and Innovation Management for Africa and the Caribbean

Status: Completed project

Duration: 2009-2013

Project lead: Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA)

Project partners: University of Botswana; University of Buea, Cameroon; University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Stellenbosch University, South Africa; University of Technology Jamaica; Research Africa, South Africa; Research and Innovation Management Services (RIMS), Belgium; The Association of Commonwealth Universities, United Kingdom

Funder: European Union Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) S&T Programme

Project award: EUR 2,700,000

Summary: As good research and innovation (R&I) management has a catalytic effect on institutional capacity development, the Research and Innovation Management for Africa and the Caribbean (RIMI4AC) project sought to increase the capacity of R&I managers, as well as the effectiveness of R&I management in universities and other institutions that produce research, in the Caribbean, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa. Another related objective was the improvement of dialogue between university-based researchers and policymakers, to inform evidence-based national and regional policies feeding into the sustainable development agendas of the five regions.

The project focused primarily on setting up and strengthening regional R&I management networks, where R&I managers can access information, share experiences and good practices and benchmark their progress. The project also offered capacity building activities such as skills training, development and sharing of training materials, and exchange visits.

Outcomes: An engaged network that is well placed to continue to both develop and support R&I management in Africa and the Caribbean.

Outputs: The most significant project output was the establishment of Research and Innovation Management Associations (RIMAs) for East and Central Africa and in the Caribbean (RIMAs already exist for West and Southern Africa). The project supported the development of structures and systems for these RIMAs, including strategic development plans, websites, and support for committee meetings. The RIMAs will contribute to the professionalisation of the research management profession, and increase awareness of research management and innovation issues in their higher education environments.

The ACU held a two-day conference in October 2012 with the theme 'Tailoring Research Management for the regional context'. This event was held at the Wellcome Trust in London, United Kingdom, and was attended by funders, research managers and administrators from African and Caribbean universities. The conference highlighted current issues in research management and was attended by over 50 delegates from 16 countries. 

The ACU also conducted a survey on current research management practice and provision within the African and Caribbean regions. The report and other thematic and regional papers are accessible via our publications database.

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