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Research Council of Zimbabwe Conducting R&D National Survey: This Could Be Great For Startups

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Last week we were attending ZITF and our interactions with the Research Council of Zimbabwe team were pretty interesting. For one, they had some interesting things they are doing –one being funding entrepreneurs solving R&D pain points – and the team was generally very passionate about the issues they are trying to address.

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This year, RCZ is going to conduct a Research and Development national survey. Why put words in their mouth when they outlined their intentions clearly:

Inputs such as human capital and financial resources are quantified in an R&D Survey in order to inform policies and programmes. The Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) together with other stakeholders are set to spearhead a comprehensive R&D Survey in the Country.

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Research Council of Zimbabwe

What will be the indicators for the survey?

  • Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product
  • Percentage of GERD financed by various sectors and stakeholders
  • R&D personnel categorised in various ways
  • Business sector expenditure on R&D

When will the R&D survey be starting?

The survey will be starting in May this year of course but it’s not yet clear when it will end.

Who should participate?

Well, the call is open to government ministries & departments, research councils, research centres, institutions and stations, universities, colleges, industry, non-profit organisations, service sectors and more.

Why is this important

One of the more intriguing stories that has caught my eye over the last few days, is that of Israel. The country is a startup haven and a big reason why they are so innovative is because they have developed a serious R&D strategy. This has led to the following milestones or developments:

  • Amazon, Microsoft, Xiaomi and Lenovo have setup R&D centres in Israel
  • There are roughly 35O multinational R&D centers in Israel
  • #1 country in terms of R&D employees concentration: 140 per 10,000 (the U.S. comes in second with 85 per 10,000)
  • Israel’s government dedicates 4% of it’s GDP to R&D (highest in the world)

Research & Development looks directly at what can be done to solve problems and if there is a country that needs to start solving some of it, Zimbabwe is definitely high-up on that list…


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