Research, Innovation and Engagements Portfolio (RIE) at a Glance

The main purpose of the Research, Innovation & Engagements Portfolio (RIE) is to provide strategic leadership and direction in research, innovation, technology transfer, partnerships, including community engagement; as well as driving the marketing and communication and stakeholder relationship strategies of the University.

It is the responsibility of the RIE portfolio to attract research funding from both local and international funding agencies to be able to sustain and drive research that is relevant to address challenges in South Africa, and the world, and to be aligned to national priorities of our country.

Other important functions are:

  • To promote research capacity among equity candidates
  • Managing the risk and quality management portfolio
  • Enhancing the institutional research profile
  • Introducing and implementing clearly defined institutional Research Focus Areas (RFA);
  • Increasing NRF ratings, accredited research publications, and the number of inter/multidisciplinary research projects; and
  • Increasing the number of masters, doctoral and postgraduate fellowships and their research outputs.

Other important aspects are to enhance technology transfer; the protection of intellectual property; managing commercialisation of innovations and research; and promoting entrepreneurship.

The Portfolio is responsible for monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the performance to Council.

RIE is guided by Government regulatory framework and it operates in line with the NDP, DAFF Strategic Plan and the DoH Ten Point Plan. This is an adoption aimed at strengthening research and development as well as skills development in national research priority areas. It also aligns itself with DHET’s White Paper on Post School Education with the particular focus on increasing research and innovation, and also improving the quality of research and building on the areas of strength identified as important in the national development plan.

In addition, RIE aligns with the DST Bio-economy Strategy, which addresses the health and agricultural needs of South Africa. Attention is placed on articulating the DST 10 Year Plan grand challenges 1, 3 and 4, i.e. Farmer to Pharma (to strengthen the bio-economy becoming a world leader in Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals); Energy security (clean affordable, reliable energy supply whilst innovating long term development of renewable energy); and Global Climate Change (play a leading role in climate change).