Uganda seeks accelerated economic growth and improved social well-being. Its national development strategy is centered around transforming the economy and transitioning into a lower middle-income country by the year 2020. Development of such an economy puts high emphasis on the production, transfer and application of scientific knowledge. National governments, development partners, civil society and private sector entities around the world have expressed growing interest in embracing STI to optimize technology development and adaptation. Demand is high for innovative approaches with which to assess causal mechanisms, to evaluate policy and program impacts and to guide S&T interventions for economic growth and development.
The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) is a Government of Uganda (GoU) agency, under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). The Council is mandated to facilitate and coordinate the development and implementation of policies and strategies for integrating Science and Technology (S&T) into the national development process.
Research and Development (R&D) grants support scientific innovations across all domains of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and R&D projects in the basic, applied, incubation and commercialization stages, in line with the priorities indicated in the STI Policy 2009 and Uganda Vision 2040. These grants aim to accelerate the development of a robust and coherent scientific evidence base which will support effective policy and investments in S&T systems and effective industrial research uptake and utilization. Grant beneficiaries, upon completion of the R&D phase of their projects, are expected to utilize their business plans as road maps to commercialization. The UNCST, by working closely with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Uganda Industrial Research Institute and other stakeholders in the STI sector, also provides support in bridging the gap between innovation and commercialization through incubation centers and science and technology parks to ensure that the grants programme translates into creation of employment opportunities, inclusive development and steady economic growth as stated in the NRM manifesto 2016-2021 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.