18 February 2018
Inaugural Australia Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum
The inaugural Australia Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum will be launched officially at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebene, Mauritius on Monday 19 February 2018.
The forum, being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research in the context of the golden jubilee independence celebrations, will bring together Australian and Mauritian policy makers, academics, industry players, innovators and thought leaders to discuss the role of research and private sector partnerships in driving innovation, promoting inclusiveness, and delivering sustainable economic development.
Around 100 delegates are expected to attend the Forum with up to 20 representatives from leading Australian universities and research institutions and government, along with strong support from the Mauritian business, academic and research community.
It will be preceeded by a Ministerial roundtable on 18 February with senior-level delegates to the Forum.
“Australia and Mauritius have always enjoyed a strong relationship based on historical people-to-people links. Today, with an increasing focus on global partnerships and innovation, that relationship has evolved to encompass growing education and research collaborations between Australian and Mauritian institutions and the private sector,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius Ms Jenny Dee.
“We hope the Forum will discuss new challenges and identify opportunities for further cooperation in priority areas – across agriculture, fisheries, education and training, and advanced technologies - including to support Mauritius as a regional education hub,” she said.
The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Honourable Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun said “I am confident that, in tandem with Australian institutions, our higher education institutions can reach out and offer a high quality education to Africa and the Indian sub-continent, through the special links that Mauritius has with SADC, COMESA, African Union or the IORA member states.”
“As part of this collaboration, I wish to salute the generous gesture of institutions like Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and Deakin University for having granted Mauritius with a number of tuition-waiver scholarships for post-graduates programmes,” the Minister said.
Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun highlighted that the mission of her Ministry was to develop a culture of achievement and excellence; generate new knowledge for the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation; and to ensure learning opportunities are accessible to all.
“Collaboration with Australian Universities as privileged partners to our local higher education institutions will undoubtedly be of mutual benefit. So, let us work closely with a view of reinforcing and strengthening the friendly bilateral relations that exist between Australia and Mauritius,” the Minister said.
The forum builds on a number of recent joint research projects with a particular focus on the ocean economy in Mauritius including marine spatial planning with CSIRO, Australia’s leading science organisation, and in renewable energy with Carnegie Clean Energy and the Mauritius Research Council. While the Australia Africa Universities Network is building regional research capacity and collaboration.
“This Forum is in line with the Australian Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper and Global Innovation Strategy which recognises that innovation is vital to the world’s future prosperity and the best innovations are born out of collaboration,” Ms Dee said.