On March 7, 2022, the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) organized an official ceremony for the award of seed funding to the 22 finalists of the National Innovation Challenge 2021-22. The Challenge was launched in May 2021 and was open to all age groups. The Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Darsanand Balgobin, the Executive Director of the MRIC, Prof T. Bahorun, the Chairperson of the MRIC, Dr K. S. Sukon, and other personalities were present at the event. In his address, Minister Balgobin highlighted that Government lays much emphasis on innovation. As such, he underscored, a national sensitization campaign is ongoing so as to encourage each citizen to innovate in order to ensure the socio-economic progress of Mauritius.
He observed that, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine crisis, innovation is of paramount importance so as to be able to adapt to every day-to-day situation. The Minister also seized this opportunity to commend finalists for their project proposals, and members of the jury for their time and commitment in the selection process. The finalists, he underlined, will each receive a cheque of Rs 50 000. The winner of the Challenge will receive a prize of Rs 250 000, the runner-up a cheque of Rs 150 000, while Rs 100 000 will be awarded to the second runner-up, he added.
Furthermore, he indicated that an Assises de l’inovation will soon be held in April 2022 so as to enable all stakeholders to establish a roadmap for the country. For his part, Prof Bahorun recalled that a total of 42 Mauritians had the opportunity to present their ideas in the context of the National Innovation Challenge 2021-22. He stated that projects presented by participants all have their merit and the selection and evaluation process, based on six criteria, was challenging. As for Dr Sukon, he commended the 22 finalists for their innovative projects. The Challenge, he indicated, is the right platform for Mauritians to innovate and propose viable projects in different fields.
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