Whilst global economies and societies are still grappling with the devastating impact of COVID-19, the crisis presented us with the opportunity to explore more digitally innovative ways of staying engaged with our members and stakeholders. As such, SARIMA rose to the challenge to host its first virtual Conference. The Conference is a yearly opportunity for Research and Innovation Management professionals to network, share their experiences and keep abreast of the latest developments in their respective fields. This year’s Conference Theme was ‘From Support to Strategy to Impact – Broadening the Scope of Research and Innovation Management’.
The conference provided interesting and exciting insights and lessons learnt that could be used in the further development of Research and Innovation within SARIMA member organisations. In contrast to other years, the conference had one integrated track covering a range of topics on both Research and Innovation Management, which allowed for insightful and diverse knowledge sharing throughout the entire continuum of research through to innovation and technology transfer. The online chat sessions brought in an interesting dimension and way of sharing information in a format which could be replicated in future conferences, whether held virtually or in person. Despite some technical challenges, it was a resounding success, over 300 delegates from 82 organisations representing over 19 countries including: Botswana, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States, The conference achieved its purpose of networking and sharing of cutting-edge information in style! It would have not been possible without a great innovative and committed organizing committee, supportive SARIMA management team, and under the efficient guidance of one of the best conferencing organisers- Conference Partner in South Africa!
We would like to thank our conference sponsors, Spoor & Fisher, Department of Science and Innovation and exhibitors BITRI (Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation), Clarivate, Digital Science, Elsevier, HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council). We could not have done this without you!
Written by Anna Matros-Goreses
Chairperson of the 2020 SARIMA Conference Committee
Director- Project Services Unit
Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)