Innovation is paving the way for new and emerging areas of research in Mauritius, with QUT recently being invited to attend the Australia-Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum to explore potential collaborations.
Held on 19 February 2018, the forum brought together more than 120 participants including Australian and Mauritian policy makers, researchers, academics, industry, government and thought leaders from various sectors. The central theme of the forum was to explore the role of research and private sector partnerships to drive innovation, promote inclusiveness and deliver sustainable economic development in Mauritius.
QUT representative Dr Mark Harrison, Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, had the opportunity to meet representatives from the University of Mauritius, the Mauritius Research Council and the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute.
“Mauritius has unique challenges being an island nation built on the back on sugarcane, but is changing rapidly with industries becoming more diverse and higher education becoming an important economic driver,” Dr Harrison said.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to collaborate with both the public and private sectors in Mauritius in areas including food and agriculture, environmental systems, renewable energy and industrial biotechnology.”
Australian High Commissioner to Mauritius and QUT alumnus, Ms Jenny Dee said the Australian High Commission welcomed the involvement of QUT along with other Australian tertiary institutions in the inaugural Australia-Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum.
“There are growing opportunities to expand cooperation between our research institutions and private sector in Mauritius in areas where Australia has considerable expertise, including to support the development of Mauritius as an education hub for the African region,” Ms Dee said.
“The forum provided a unique networking platform for institutions at different levels, offering Australian delegates access to Mauritian partners – ministers, business leaders and researchers - to explore wider perspectives through Mauritius’ strong engagement and connections with Africa.”
Funding for innovative, collaborative research and development projects with commercial potential is currently available from the Mauritius Research Council.