DEVELOPING A RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR ST HELENA

A Steering Group comprising representatives from SHG's Education & Employment, Environment & Natural Resources (ENRD) and Corporate Services Directorates along with representatives from the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI), Education Committee, Enterprise St Helena and the St Helena National Trust has been formed to plan the development of a Research Institute for St Helena.

Discussions on setting up a Research Institute for St Helena have been ongoing in the Education & Employment Directorate since 2017, with presentations made to the Education Committee about this project in January and March 2018. The success of the recent international Environment Conference has provided additional impetus and urgency to this project which the Steering Group is now taking forward.

The Steering Group is responsible for developing the policy paper that guides the establishment of a Research Institute and defines its role, structure and purpose.

Chairperson of the Steering Group and Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, said:

St Helena is a unique and fascinating place and offers research opportunities that can be found nowhere else in the world. A research institute can help us support, promote and manage research and researchers for the benefit of St Helena.

This year's international conference sparked significant new interest in research based on the Island as reported by SAERI and ENRD. It also highlighted the wide range of research interests and the many areas in which much more research is needed. We are very lucky to have support from SAERI, ENRD and other key partners in moving this important project forward.

SAERI is an academic organisation, established by the Falkland Islands Government, devoted to research in the South Atlantic from the tropics down to the ice in Antarctica. SAERI's remit includes the natural and physical sciences.

It is proposed that the St Helena Research Institute would not be limited to environmental research but will cover the wide range of research activities which St Helena is likely to attract, based on current interest and past experience. The aim is to have a research institute with a wider remit to support ENRD's existing work with researchers and to provide broader support, promotion and management of research activities.

The Steering Group has had their second meeting and will continue to meet regularly to develop a policy proposal that can be taken forward to the Education Committee for approval.

Source: St Helena Government

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