by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
The national government’s newly-established PNG Science and Technology Secretariat is working around the clock to establish the platform for research and development in PNG.
CEO Professor Teatulohi Matainaho today discussed the roles and functions of the secretariat at the 6th PNG Science, Research and Technology Conference at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Professor Matainaho admitted that despite the lack of capacity, he is adamant that the secretariat will bridge this gap and improve the country’s research and development standard sooner than expected. The national government, under the Department of Education’s Office of Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology established the secretariat last year to improve not only the standard of research and development in the country, but also create wealth and grow the economy through research and sustainable development.
CEO of PNG Science and Technology, Professor Teatulohi Matainaho heads the new secretariat.
When giving an overview of the secretariat’s roles and functions in research and sustainable development at the UPNG today, he admitted there was a big gap that needed to be bridged in terms of funding and infrastructure capacity to achieve the vision of creating a wealthier, healthier and smarter future PNG.
Professor Matainaho said there are a total of 15 research projects that come under the secretariat’s care.
The impact projects include the Pacific Adventist University’s bio-fuel project and renewable energy development; the biodiversity natural products and oils development at the School of Natural and Physical Sciences UPNG; drug discovery and herbal medicines development at UPNG’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the snake bite and anti-venom clinical trial by the same school.
These projects are the first to be funded by the secretariat this year.
He told the conference that the secretariat will work collectively with the national planning and monitoring department and other government departments and research institutions to build the country’s research and development capacity in the next 5 years.
The secretariat was allocated K4.2 million in its operation budget for 2015 and is awaiting its Public Investment Program, or PIP funding upon thorough discussion with the planning department this week.