LOCAL ENTERPRISES ENCOURAGED TO INVEST IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

“The Research and Innovation Scheme for Enterprises or RISE is an important step that the Fijian Government is using to progress Fiji into a modern and knowledge-based economy.”

This was highlighted by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Hon. Premila Kumar while officiating at the launch of the program in Suva today.

Minister Kumar said the main idea is to encourage enterprises to innovate, think outside the box and elevate their businesses.

“Innovation as a tool for sustainable development can only be fuelled by R&D. A mind-set of continuous improvement must be instilled in each of us to keep Fiji moving forward. And that’s why R&D is so important.”

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“Through RISE, we are allocating $500,000 for enterprises who need that initial support to undertake R&D in a new or improved product, process or services, which will not only be beneficial to their business, but also the Fijian people.”

Minister Kumar adds RISE is the beginning of a long-term partnership between the Fijian Government, the private sector and academia.

“Now in terms of governance, the RISE Selection Panel, driven by the private sector and tertiary institutions in Fiji is responsible for overseeing this initiative.”

“To maximise the potential of RISE and ensure its future sustainability, it is equally important to have the contribution of the private sector and academic institutions that play a key role in R&D, science and innovation.”

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Minister Kumar has encouraged local enterprises to consider venturing into R&D to develop new or improved Fijian made products or services.

“I want to emphasise to all the businesses out there, this is an initiative for you. So, take up this opportunity to create new or improved products, processes.”

The new initiative will support R&D activities for all businesses organisations locally, particularly in the following priority areas; Renewable energy, Green Technology, ICT and Business Process Outsourcing and Telecommunications.