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Research Essential In Development Progress

The recognition of research as an important tool of development has been long overdue. A new Act, passed in Parliament in April, is a positive move. It has opened the
23 May 2017 11:48
Research Essential In Development Progress
Editorial

The recognition of research as an important tool of development has been long overdue.

A new Act, passed in Parliament in April, is a positive move. It has opened the way for the setting up of a National Research Council.

While we have talked about research in the past, this is the first tangible evidence to show that we are serious about this issue.

The objective of this Act, according to the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, is to make provision for a national body to pursue and fund activities designed to:

Raise the standards and development of research and development in all scientific, health, educational, educational, industrial, technological, social and economic areas

 Encourage or promote consideration of ethical issues relating to research and development

New innovations and products in the marketplace happen because of research.

Research, marketing and promotions go hand in hand. Organisations, both in the private and public sectors, that innovate based on research usually gain an advantage over others.

In fact research is a lifeline of an organisation. It keeps the organisation abreast with the latest changes and projections for the future.

More research will greatly enhance our intellectual capacity.

It is crucial in the field of science and technology. Because of our small size and limited natural resources, a knowledge economy, if developed properly through targeted investment, will produce many benefits for this country.

Apart from Australia and New Zealand, Fiji could develop into a research hub for the small island states of the region. Research is not just an imperative, it is a need especially for a developing country like Fiji.

There is great potential for it here because we have a growing number of intellectuals. We can expand our collaboration with Australia and New Zealand and their higher learning institutions.

It will reinvigorate education because it is a catalyst that pushes students and academics to the next level. It breaks new frontiers and expands our knowledge bank.

In 2006, a World Bank research found that sleep was a key factor of efficient learning in the process of gaining optimal learning using few resources. It found that sleep restores and protects memory.

It advances learning, and enhances mathematical ability and problem solving. The research discovered that “knowledge is better consolidated when people study at the time when they are supposed to be awake rather than, say, late-night sessions.” That kind of research is useful to students, teachers lecturers and those who write education policies.

Many successful companies invest heavily in research and development. They are big producers of consumer goods or mass-market items in engineering, agriculture, food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, computer software,  information and communication technology, construction, robotics, aerospace, aviation, and energy.

Mr Reddy says through this national Research Council, Government will become a strategic investor in research infrastructure and have major programme to invest in science, technology and innovation capability. He has identified the Fiji National University as a major driver in infrastructure and capacity building. The council’s aim is to ensure that any research undertaken must generate both economic and social benefits, he adds.

All important decisions we make should be research-based. As we shift to research mode, it will lead to quality policy making and project implementation.

It will lift our service delivery to the ordinary people to a higher level.

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