Mauritius future innovation depends on investment, business climate, culture, research and development, according to Professor (Dr) P. E. Seeram Ramakrishna, FReng, a leading expert in scientific research.

He made this observation at a public conference organized by the University of Mauritius (UoM) on May 2, 2014, centered on research and innovation.

The event, going by the theme “Research and Innovation for the Future: Singapore Experience”, was held within the framework of a workshop entitled “Capacity Building in Research” convened from May 2 to 3, 2014.

Furthermore, the Professor noted that small countries have been grappling with global reality for long, compared to bigger countries that can also turn inwards for demand, as the latter have large domestic markets at their disposal.

Moreover, he observed that the small countries that have been successful are those that have invested heavily in areas of competitive advantage.

 “Research and innovation continue to evolve worldwide and we are conscious that these two fields are key elements for the success of our economy,” stated Professor Romeela Mohee, Vice-chancellor of UoM.

The ‘Global Innovation Index’ looks at how a number of factors – like innovation inputs, innovation outputs, institutions, human capital, infrastructure, market, business, and knowledge – are nurtured in a country.

The report compares these benchmarks for several nations around the world. Incidentally, in the sub-Saharan ranking, Mauritius emerges at the top.

Comparing Mauritius to Singapore in the global ranking, Mauritius’ ranking is 53 and Singapore’s ranking is eight, both assessed under business processes, political climate, stability, quality and standard of living.

However, according to Professor Ramakrishna, Mauritius is not strictly comparable to Singapore due to difference in size, but their similarity lies in their multi-cultural aspect.

“Mauritius’s future innovation depends on the answer to the ultimate question: Do we have a high quality human capital and productivity?” Professor Ramakrishna stated.

He held out the Singapore eye and sky garden as an outstanding instance of innovation in Singapore, which attracts many tourists and brings high revenues to the country. Hence, the Indian Ocean island economy, which relies heavily on tourism to bring in revenues for future development, can take Singapore as an example in this domain, he noted.

Mauritians must lay emphasis on following global standards, as well as on improving the quality and capacity of institutions as they plow ahead with innovation.

Professor Ramakrishna is renowned worldwide for his research in the field of nanotechnology, which is applied in sectors as diverse as medicine and engineering.

He is the author of the book “The Changing Face of Innovation,” published in 2011, and has years of experiences in project development and research financing.

By Marie-Lorry Coret and Marie Cecilia Samoisi

Image (Marie Cecilia Samoisi/AfricaMoney): Professor Ramakrishna, a leading expert in scientific research, observed that globally, the small countries that have been successful are those that have invested heavily in areas of competitive advantage.

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