Marie-Christine Gasingirwa and UNECA’s Soteri Gatera announcing the opening of the applications
The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) has announced the call for applications for funding by the Rwanda Innovation Endowment Fund (RIEF).
The Fund which was created this year by the Government of Rwanda with the support of the ONE UN, aims to increase the competitiveness of the Rwandan economy by stimulating research and development in innovative market-oriented products and processes across all sectors in Rwanda.
It is also expected to provide a sustainable funding mechanism. The Fund’s initial three funding priority focus areas are: agriculture, information communication technologies, and manufacturing.
“RIEF offers entrepreneurs and researchers who have innovative, market oriented products, services, or processes that they want to develop and commercialize, an opportunity to secure funding.
The fund is now accepting applications”, said Dr. Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, Director-General of Science Technology and Research, who was speaking to the press on the eve of a month long national campaign to raise awareness and encourage applications for the funds.
According to MINEDUC, applications that demonstrate innovation and marketability, as well as a strong potential to contribute to the economic and social transformation in Rwanda will receive up to $50,000.
The kick-off date for submission of applications is October 15, 2012 and the deadline is November 15, 2012.
Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Development Cluster at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa (UNECA SRO/EA) Soteri Gatera said:
“The fact that Rwanda is among the first African countries to develop such a fund to support its innovators demonstrates its belief that investment in research and development in innovation is a national priority for development.”
“ONE UN in Rwanda is pleased to support this and other outstanding initiatives that promote the use of science, technology and innovation (STI) to achieve sustainable socio-economic development in Africa.”
The awareness campaign for the fund will kick-off at the National University of Rwanda on 10 October and conclude on 26 October at Kigali’s kLab and will target youth, entrepreneurs and researchers.
The Ministry of Education is working closely with the Private Sector Federation, Business Development Centers, Higher Learning Institutions, Youth Associations, and the media to reach out to potential applicants in Rwanda and Rwandans living in the Diaspora.
Interested applicants as well as the media are can also Visit www.mineduc.gov.rw/rief for more information about the fund.