Researchers and experts on Friday discussed innovative ways of mobilising funds to finance research for national transformation, observing that national budget resources alone cannot be enough.
The sentiments were made during a panel discussion on the final day of the third Research Dissemination Conference organised by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) in Mangochi last week.
One of the discussants Levison Chiwaula, an associate professor of economics at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, said one percent from the national budget allocated to the NCST Research Fund was not enough to make a difference in innovation research.
On her part, Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) acting chief executive officer Audrey Mwala explained that it was possible for the private sector to partner public institutions in national transformation type of research.
She told the meeting that already, the PPPC is working on a $72 million (about K54 billion) World Bank-funded project to create an enabling environment for the country to join the digital world through cheap and readily available Internet access.
Unicaf University vice-chancellor Robert Ridley urged NCST to ensure that private and public universities work together with the industry on research for economic development.
Agricultural Research and Extension Trust chief executive officer Albert Changaya expressed concern that government is no longer funding most public research institutions.