Supporting relevant research through development grants can promote positive economic transformation and improvement in key sectors - education, health, agriculture, energy, water and sanitation - for the Ugandan society. The application of science can stimulate the economy through new innovations in areas such as agricultural production, industry, communications and health care and local products and innovations can lead to the birth of vigorous new companies to market them. Thus, the support to R&D projects offers the GoU an invaluable opportunity to invest in those science and technology initiatives that are innately relevant for national development.
The competitive nature of R&D grants ensures that they are awarded to the most productive research teams working on the most relevant topics. The award criteria emphasizes the importance of linking research to industry, so that the output is increased prototypes as well as new knowledge. Recipients would use the grants to turn their existing facilities into small but flexible centers of research excellence for their particular domains.
Uganda's public resources are limited and yet its needs are great. It must therefore build its science and technology system in a way that is most cost-effective and owned by the country. R&D grants are devised as a competitive and transparent mechanism to fund researchers and innovators with activities on research efforts devoted to generating new knowledge and its translation into solutions in the S&T field as determined by a panel of technical experts in the specific field of interest. Other built-in accountability measures provide further safeguards for ensuring research quality and impact from the grants programme.