By | December 3, 2018

University of Namibia Science Forum Yields Global Partners For Namibia

UNAM successfully completed several international agreements that are expected to enhance industry links, innovation and entrepreneurship in Kyoto, Japan, during the 15th annual meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum.

One of the agreements was completed with Global Gene Corp. This partnership aims to bring precision medicine to Namibia. Moreover to develop a national genomics initiative, aiming to study the genetic makeup of the Namibian population. Data will then be used to develop relevant precision medicine approaches and build a Centre of Excellence in Genomics in Namibia.

This will improve skills and training in this fast-growing area of healthcare research. Through this initiative, UNAM joins a network of 51 leading healthcare and genomics institutions, based at the Welcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge UK – with other offices in Boston, Singapore and India.

UNAM representative at the STS Forum, Dr Erold Naomab, the Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor, at the Southern Campus remarked that “Namibia needs industry savvy academia if we are to compete successfully in the new era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which is characterized by globalized open innovation”. He was accompanied by the Minister of Higher Education Training and Innovation (MHETI), Hon. Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi.

According to Dr Naomab “One of the key objectives of the mission was to engage relevant global Science Technology and Innovation (STI) institutions and networks in order to find synergies that would particularly enhance national efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including food security and poverty eradication”. The STS forum attracted more than 1400 global leaders from nearly 80 countries. The forum’s Ministers’ Roundtable had more than 25 ministers responsible for Science, Technology and Innovation from around the world.

UNAM also managed to clinch a partnership with the globally renowned Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) based in Saarland, Germany. This project aims to develop new industrial innovations using nanocomposite technologies. The project is expected to produce new types of construction materials, whilst establishing a Material Science Institute in Namibia. Other potential agreements includes agricultural technologies to advance food security, artificial intelligence, cybercrime, robotics and ICT.