Management of research infrastructures: A South African funding perspective
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This book provides an overview of the building blocks necessary for managing, steering and guiding the establishment of a RI. It acts as a reference tool for RI investment, access and management at the academic, grants management, agency and policy level. This book is also useful for the research community, students, research-performing entities and the private sector who have a keen interest in understanding the approaches and opportunities linked to the establishment, maintenance and management of RI platforms. Although RI investments over the past ten years have improved in South Africa, the system is still overwhelmed by challenges which not only require continued financial investments but also strong governance, skilled human resources, management and monitoring and evaluation structures. A holistic view of RI investment is presented in this book by mapping the granting cycles from a funding agency perspective. The strides undertaken and lessons learnt over the past decade within the science and technology sector in South Africa are further highlighted, while taking account a more dynamic and sustainable RI ecosystem in the future. An emergent observation over the past decade, is that the investment into research equipment cannot be considered in isolation. Parallel investments in (i) human capital development, including the upskilling and training of the next generation of researchers; (ii) operational costs; and (iii) costs relating to sustainability which includes upgrades and maintenance, as well as building and/or renovating suitable physical infrastructures to house the research equipment, are critical for enhancing impact.
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