Focus Areas

SARIMA’s overall objectives are to: (i) develop the discipline of research and innovation management; (ii) share best practices, (iii) foster and co-ordinate activities related to research and innovation management; (iv) create a climate which is conducive to research and innovation and (v) seek and establish mutually beneficial links with other associations or organisations with similar or related areas of activity or objectives.

SARIMA has three key portfolios, namely Research Management, Innovation & Technology Transfer and Africa Engagement.


Research Management

The Research Management (RM) Portfolio is mainly responsible for initiating and driving activities relating to development of research management capacity and thereby support research in Southern Africa including the cross cutting domains of capacity building and professionalization.

The strategic objectives of SARIMA are furthered through specifically identified strategic areas and activities included in the RM plan for 2018-2019. The RM plan not only builds on what has already been achieved over the last 16 years of SARIMA’s existence, but includes some specific objectives such as:

  • Extending SARIMA’s professionalization programmes into the rest of Africa and beyond
  • Promote integration of the Professional Competence Framework in the workplace
  • Migrating from traditional face-to-face courses to more technology-driven training platforms to enable access to a wider audience
  • Implementation of regional RM forums for up-coming to mid-level research managers
  • Contribute towards financial sustainability of SARIMA

These initiatives stem out of engagements with stakeholders such as the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Wellcome Trust, African Academy of Sciences (AAS), WHO/TDR ESSENCE, our sister organisations (WARIMA, CARIMA and EARIMA) as well as feedback from our members received during SARIMA forums and conferences.


Innovation & Technology Transfer

The Innovation and Technology Transfer (I&TT) portfolio is responsible for driving the development of Innovation and Technology Transfer within the region and globally.

Technology Transfer in the region is still relatively at an early stage. Despite the progress made this far, there is still an opportunity to intensify efforts locally and regionally, in order to support the attainment of desirable socio-economic outcomes as highlighted in continental, regional and national strategies and plans. This requires concerted effort to build capacity for technology transfer, design appropriate processes, contribute to the development appropriate legislations, as well as design and experiment with new practices. In line with the above, the strategic objectives of the I&TT portfolio are to:

  • Design and implement appropriate capacity development initiatives in the region,
  • Facilitate professionalization of the I&TT discipline in the region,
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange among I&TT professionals
  • Design and implement initiatives to facilitate commercialisation of technologies,
  • Monitor the development of I&TT in the region,
  • Advocate for I&TT
  • Contribute towards financial sustainability of SARIMA


Africa Engagement portfolio


The Africa Engagement (AE) portfolio is responsible for promoting and strengthening R&I management throughout Africa, leveraging of existing RM and I&TT portfolio activities. Key initiatives driven by this portfolio include:


  • Establishing the SADC Focal Point initiative, with representatives from all 15 countries in the region
  • Implementing professional development and capacity building initiatives across the region
  • Establishing a R&I management database
  • Encouraging the formation of local R&I knowledge networks to create awareness and promote and share best practices