Functions & Powers of the Commission

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Functions of the Commission

The functions of the Commission shall be to advise the Government and other stakeholders on all science and technology matters in order to achieve a science and technology-led development.

The Commission shall –

  • Create science and technology awareness at the political and other levels of society and thereby obtain their commitment towards the value of science and technology as integral parts of national development strategies;
  • Establish mechanisms to solicit support from the executive and legislative branches of Government, policy-makers and the private sector in order to promote the formulation and revision of policies, strategies, laws and regulations for science and technology and the monitoring of the implementation of science and technology development activities;
  • Source funding from within and outside Malawi to finance the national research and development effort and allocate the funds to research institutions based on set priorities;
  • Chart out national direction and establish national priorities in science and technology development in relation to socio-economic development needs;
  • Appraise, review, monitor and evaluate priority research and development programmes, plans and projects of research and development institutions and undertake independently or in collaboration with any appropriate person, body or institution surveys and research investigations considered necessary;
  • Promote and advocate for the development of science and technology human resources by building capacity in science and technology education and training programmes and providing assistance in the development of appropriate science and technology curricula of the various levels of the education systems;
  • Create a conducive working environment for science and technology personnel in order to retain them and attract those outside Malawi to return through, inter alia, providing appropriate science and technology infrastructures and facilities;
  • Encourage the use of local expertise in science and technology matters through use of a set of professional standards, ethics and guidelines and support professional science and technology associations;
  • Encourage the establishment and promote the coordination of research institutions that undertake research and development activities which promote national socio-economic development and other specialized research and development activities in a manner that enhances cooperation and collaboration among national and international science and technology personnel and institutions;
  • Organise national science and technology fairs and open days so as to promote national science and technology awareness and culture, documentation, consolidation and dissemination of relevant science and technology information and generally promote the role of information technology;
  • Promote the transfer of technology through conventional methods including information exchange and training, purchase and licence agreements and joint venture agreements with foreign partners in which research and development is given prominent consideration and, in support of this, establish and maintain national capacity for negotiating, monitoring and regulating technology for negotiating, monitoring and regulating technology transfer agreements;
  • Promote and encourage the patenting and commercialisation of research results to farmers, industrialists and entrepreneurs as end-users in a manner that enhances economic diversification, competitiveness and employment generation;
  • Promote sustainable socio-economic development through the general and application of environmental friendly technologies so as to protect and conserve natural resources;
  • Develop and synthesize science and technology indicators covering such aspects as research and development statistics, bibliometrics, technology balance of payments statistics, patent data, human resources and innovation data using internationally accepted procedures and standards;
  • Conduct an inquiry into any matter being investigated by the Commission;
  • Sponsor such national and international scientific conferences as it may consider appropriate;
  • Promote and maintain cooperation in science and technology with similar bodies in other countries and with international bodies connected with science and technology;
  • Prepare, every two years, a state of Science and Technology Report for presentation to the National Assembly