On the 23rd May 2023, ahead of its Budget Vote speech at the Good Hope Chambers, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) held a panel discussion and media broadcast under the theme: “Leveraging opportunities for young innovators in science, technology and innovation”. The Budget vote discussions and exhibitions were held at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town.
Participating in the media broadcast and representing the SAMRC was Ms. Candice Roux, Programme Manager at the Grants, Innovation & Product Development (GIPD) Unit.
The panel discussion commenced with an address by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, and Director-General, Dr Phil Mjawara. The discussion revealed insights into young entrepreneurs whose projects are funded by DSI. This was followed with media engagements. Conversing with SAfm and Radio Zibonele, Ms. Candice Roux reflected on SAMRC’s COVID-19 response and the need for pandemic preparedness. The Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) - a flagship DSI programme funds and manages innovation projects focused on the development of new drugs, treatments, vaccines, medical devices, and prevention strategies.
Ms. Candice Roux said, “COVID-19 taught us some valuable lessons including the critical need for pandemic preparedness. More importantly, it taught us the need of self-sustainability to ensure rapid access to effective treatments such as vaccines and diagnostics. This means that in between pandemics we must build the capacity to do this”.
The participation by the SAMRC in activities like these ensures that the organisation contributes to better public understanding of science and how its work translates new knowledge into policies and practices to improve health.