By Seniorl Anzu
Papua New Guinea’s 7th research, science and technology conference will be held in Lae in November this year.
NARI and the PNG University of Technology will host this bi-annual event jointly which is expected to attract up to 1000 participants from across sectors around the country and abroad.
The conference focuses and reflects on outstanding scientific results of research and innovations at different institutions of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (HERST). HERST institutions include local universities, research organisations and other tertiary institutions.
Similar showcases are expected from other national and international research organizations, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other private and public sectors.
The theme is: “Inventions and Innovations for Prosperous and Food Secure PNG: Research to Practice”
The conference objectives are to:
- emphasise the essential role of different research disciplines and innovations in national development and economic growth;
- use of research outputs for national prosperity;
- exchange experiences with regional and international institutions and organisations, and;
- highlight the importance of policy, regulations and ethics of research and innovation.
- The conference will cover research and innovations in:
- agriculture, food and nutrition;
- climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- health research;
- forestry, environment and natural resources;
- engineering science, mining and material technology;
- information technology and communication;
- space technology and remote sensing;
- success stories: outcomes of pilot research projects ready for wider application and commercialisation; and,
- policy, laws, regulations and ethics of research and innovations.
These are contemporary topical issues with high relevance to PNG’s development.
The conference will be tailored to ameliorate results of scientific research and knowledge expected to have impacts on national development.
Challenges of modernization are at our doors, and we need to accept them in all aspects and move to close the gap with the developed world. For such to happen, knowledge and intellectual capacity is required.
Knowledge is created through research, science and technology development. This knowledge, when adopted, helps in solving or alleviating constraints to development. It, as well, enables new opportunities for development to be explored.
Globally, science and technology processes have been positively influenced by improvements in information and communication technologies, in human skills and in institutional development. These and many others need to be taken on further into our development contexts. They can contribute to increase productivity and empower growth and advancement.
The theme of the conference speaks a lot. The roles of research, science and technology are therefore important for prosperity.
Scientific research explores for truth and emphasizes clarity of thinking using systematic processes. Technologies cannot be limited to one condition. They can be borrowed from other countries. Actors in the sector make assessments and adapt them to local conditions and circumstances.
Technologies can also be developed through innovations. This is done through applied research, which requires scientific and systematic methods and processes.
Technology development translates research outputs into practical application for end users – be it in natural or physical sciences. This is where institutions of research and technology development, higher education and training, and quality assurance come in. They play a vital role in such an innovation system.
In agriculture, it is generally accepted that research, science and technology make positive inputs to agricultural development and eventually contribute to overall economic growth. This is so when improved agricultural technologies and new innovations and knowledge generated through scientific research and innovative development are used in innovative ways by farming and rural communities.
Come November 8-10, some of PNG’s researchers, innovators and practitioners will be sharing and exhibiting their innovations. A good number of NARI scientists have submitted their abstracts to share their research results and learn from others.
The conference will include plenary sessions, oral presentations, workshops, poster sessions, exhibitions and a marketplace. The annual NARI Agricultural Innovations Show will coincide with and networking.
Manufacturers, companies and innovators who have products of relevance to the themes are invited to participate in the conference exhibition at UNITECH and the show at NARI.