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MFFASA / DST Sector Innovation Fund call for research and development funding proposals.

BACKGROUND
The Marine Finfish Farmers Association of South Africa (MFFASA) is a registered non-profit organization that was established to represent its members in the promotion and development of marine finfish farming as an economically sound and environmentally sustainable industry in South Africa. The marine finfish industry in South Africa has developed over the past 10 years to supply fresh sustainably farmed marine finfish, such as kabeljou, to many major retailers and food service industry clients in South Africa. It is important to recognize that at the current stage of aquaculture development, the industry needs to improve its production systems. Better production systems will result in the increase of production capacity which in turn will lead to the increased need of expanding the industry’s client base outside of South Africa. Through these actions, finfish aquaculture in South Africa will be able to fulfil its potential as a contributor to GDP and job creation.

THE MASSIF PROGRAMME
The ‘MFFASA – DST-Sector Innovation Fund (SIF)’ programme or ‘MASSIF’ Programme is specifically designed to develop relevant and applicable production technologies and human capacity to help build the marine finfish farming industry in South Africa. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is encouraging industry innovation partnerships as part of a broader government effort to support industry competitiveness. The main objective is to create an environment where government can effectively partner with industry and support co-investments in research, development and innovation in key strategic sectors of the economy. The vision of MASSIF is to provide marine fish farming in South Africa with a competitive edge in the international marine fish farming industry.

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OBJECTIVES OF THE MASSIF PROGRAMME
The MFFASA – Department of Science and Technology Sector Innovation Fund (MASSIF) Programme is an initiative to support research and technology development in marine finfish farming industry, including to:
1. fund research, development and innovative (R&DI) projects and post-graduate bursaries aligned with the marine finfish aquaculture industry’s needs;
2. fund R&DI projects and post-graduate bursaries aligned with the Department of Science and Technology criteria ;
3. enhance R&D capacity and science, engineering and technology excellence;
4. increase the human capacity development in science, engineering and technologywith aquaculture competence ;
5. develop the relevant and applicable production technology required to establish atechnologically advanced aquaculture industry in South Africa;
6. promote the development of a network of collaborators both locally and internationally;
7. generate commercialisable Intellectual Property that supports innovative products, systems and/procedures;
8. increase the overall competitiveness of the aquaculture industry internationally which will lead the creation of more jobs.



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