heneri-dzinotyiweyi.jpgThe Ministry of Science and Technology Development says gross underfunding of the research and development industry in the country, is shortchanging the sector’s contribution to economic growth.

Science and technology is a key enabler of sustainable economic development through innovations which reduce poverty and diseases while increasing food security and advance industrial competitiveness among others.

However, with such impact on the economy, Zimbabwe’s research and development remains underfunded.

This is despite growing recognition of the importance of research and development by government which saw the science and technology department being raised from a department to a ministry in 2005.

Sector funding, however, only accounted for 0.12% of GDP in 2009.

Officiating at the launch of the Science and Technology Innovation Status report, Minister of Science and Technology Development Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, said there is need to fund the country’s research and development institutions which are facing decline, in order to help them aid economic development.

The science ministry has since launched a commercialisation fund, designed to aid researchers to commercialize technological innovations which can assist industry.

The ministry has also proposed a 2% science and technology levy which will be used for developing national capacity to exploit science for economic development.