Research Flash Issue 26

Research Flash Issue 26

BIUST PLANETARY AND SPACE SCIENCE PROJECT AWARDED 1.4 Million Euros (P18 million) BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is pleased to announce the recognition of the achievement of our outstanding geologist and planetary scientist from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Dr Fulvio Franchi, recently awarded a grant valued at P1.4 millions of Euros (ca. P18 millions). The project titled “Pan-Africa Planetary and Space Science Network” is funded by the European Commission through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme. In addition, other internal collaborators from BIUST include Prof. Gizaw Mengistu, from Earth and Environmental Science Department, and Prof. Gregory Hillhouse, from Physics and Astronomy Department.

The Pan-Africa Planetary and Space Science Network aims to create a mobility scheme for students, academic and support staff amongst partners from Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia within the thematic field “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)” with particular emphasis for Planetary and Space Sciences.

Dr Franchi asserts that “This mobility project, wishes to develop the next generation of African scientists, leaders, and entrepreneurs by improving their access to high quality STEM education, with particular emphasis on Planetary and Space Science”. This is in line with the BIUST Strategic Goal of Research and Innovation Excellence.

BIUST is in the process of establishing the Mining Centre (MC) in a bid to ensure ease of industry absorption by graduate students and also provide services to the local mining sector. The MC is housed in the institution’s Faculty of Engineering and Technology and is led Dr Bonny Matshediso. The BIUST MC intends to bridge the gap in acadenic teaching of applied mining and related sciences and professional needs of the mining industry. The aim of the centre is to address all elements of the mining industry value chain including mining, processing, economic, marketing and financials. It envisions providing practical educational opportunities for students and industry professionsals, coaching opportunities in the area of mining project business development, critical mid and high-level skills training and industry vetted short courses.

Dr Matshediso said that the centre will be focused on the professional development of what the mining industry needs as determined by the industry focusing on “market intelligence’ to determine skills gaps in the sector. He said, “the materials and topics presented and practical training offered should therefore be driven by the industry through engagement, and not determined by academia through a push mechanism.”

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Call for Research Proposals for funding of BIUST Priority Projects (BPP)

The recognition of the University as an ‘engine of development’ and as a ‘Flagship’ science, engineering and technology university of international repute will ultimately depend on its success in undertaking high quality research that can be transformed into tangible applications and products of importance to society. This requires the University to ensure research is institutionalized as a strategic priority, with strong industry linkages, and supported by a sustainable research staffing and infrastructure; research funding and a properly managed and coordinated research management capacity. It is BIUST’s strategic priority to dedicated part of research funding to two transdisciplinary flagship projects, which will be referred to as BIUST Priority/Flagship Projects (BPP/BFP). These projects will be expected to be innovative enough to generate products that can be commercialized. This action is anchored on the second Strategic Theme of the BIUST Strategy: Research and Innovation Excellence.

Closing date: 18 December 2020

Innovation Challenge Fund

BIUST has set up an innovation Challenge Fund under the Directorate of Technology Transfer to assist students develop their ideas into products and services for economic development. The challenges should be addressed by innovative solutions through multi-disciplinary collaborative projects.

The call for the Innovation Challenge Fund 2020/2021 applications is now open. All interested students (undergraduate and postgraduates) are invited to submit their proposals for this challenge to the Technology Transfer office by 18 December 2020.

Proposals should be submitted as follows:

Postgraduates Students click here to apply online:

https://biust.pure.elsevier.com/admin/editor/dk/atira/pure/modules/fundingopportunity/external/model/fundingopportunity/editor/fundingopportunityeditor.xhtml?id=22344360

Undergraduates should submit their applications to research@biust.ac.bw or hand delivered to Research office No.114.

Closing date: 18 December 2020