Research is an important tool which assists in making evidence-based decisions and promoting knowledge-based society. Most often, research leads to innovation of technologies. Several organisations in Bhutan conduct research based on their needs and organisational priorities. While the government organisations primarily engage in conducting applied research, basic research is mostly conducted by university academics.
In Bhutan however, the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) being a young institution, research amongst academics is in its infancy. Academic research in RUB is supported by one of the mandates of the Royal University of Bhutan (Article 2.2 of The Royal Charter, RUB, 2003) which is ‘to promote and conduct research, to contribute to the creation of knowledge in an international context and to promote the transfer of knowledge of relevance to Bhutan’.
While researches activities are ongoing in the country, there are difficulty in understanding the diverse types of research being conducted by various organisations in the Country. It also appears that authority to provide research permits and ethical clearances rest with different organisations. While the RUB has Zhib’ Tshol to guide research and innovation in the university, many organisations do not seem to have such policy documents which make the research process challenging for other research organisations. Therefore, this national conference on ‘Promoting Research and Innovation in Bhutan’ attempts to bring the researching institution/organisations to a common platform to share their research activities, policies and discuss issues facilitating promotion of research and innovation in the country. The conference aims to deliberate on the possibility to institutionalise a National Research Council, outline a research funding mechanism and develop a GNH-based National Research Policy. The Department of Research and External Relations of the RUB has drafted a concept note on Bhutan Research and Innovation Council (BRIC) and shared it in several forums. Such policy document and institutional framework is expected to strengthen organisational collaboration, promote and allocate efficient use of scarce resources – finance and human capital, form a network of researchers, reduce conflict of interest, and develop a national ‘Think-Tank’.
Objectives of the Conference
The conference aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Share research information on the research activities/capacities in the country;
- Explore prospects of collaboration between institutions;
- Raise awareness on the ethical and administrative clearance for conducting research;
The conference is organised by the Centre for Rural Development Studies (CRDS), CNR, with financial support from the NORHED – SUNREM Himalaya project and Institute of Gross National Happiness Studies (iGNHaS), Royal University of Bhutan .
Date and Venue
The Conference will be held on 8 February, 2019 (Friday) in the Convention Hall of the RUB, Motithang.