South Africa redirects science and innovation funds to COVID –19 research

South Africa has redirected R4 million from some projects in the department of science and innovation to fund Covid–19 related proposed interventions.

The Minister of higher education and training, science and innovation Blade Nzimande announced during a press briefing on  March 18th, alongside other steps his ministry would take as part of government’s collective efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nzimande expressed that it was important that local research focuses on surveillance, therapeutics and understanding the local epidemiology and natural history and noted that researchers in the country are already involved in relevant projects funded by the European Union.

"Given the recent emergence of Covid-19 at a global level and the concomitant lack of adequate information on the epidemiology, therapeutic management or natural history of Covid-19 or vaccine availability, it is important for researchers in South Africa to coordinate a response to the outbreak to facilitate its control.

He further said that they are alert to opportunities for international research and innovation partnerships to support the fight against COVID-19, and will facilitate South Africa's participation in such cooperation using an extensive portfolio of international cooperation instruments.

Through the department of science and innovation (DSI), Nzimande’s ministry is engaging with the department of health, the Medical Research Council and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to mobilize funding, reprioritize research strategies, and create an enabling ethical and regulatory framework to facilitate research on Covid-19.

Photo courtesy / Google

Article by Research Beeline correspondent