Mr Robin Yarrow, Committee Chairman and Dr Johann Poinapen, Director of IAS (3rd &4th from left) with members of the IAS Advisory Committee members
The Advisory Committee of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) held its first meeting at the Japan-Pacific ICT Conference Room on 17 April 2018.
Comprising high level representatives of the Fijian Government, European Union, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and USP, the Committee’s main role is to provide guidance and advice on the strategic direction of the Institute.
In opening the meeting, Mr Robin Yarrow, Chairman of the Advisory Committee welcomed all members noting their background and current roles and added that IAS will benefit from their contributions to strengthen its position in the region.
Dr Yarrow, also a former Permanent Secretary in the Fijian Government under various Ministries emphasised the importance of the Institute’s role in Fiji and the Pacific region.
He stated that IAS’s major areas of expertise underpin the many conservation, renewable energy and climate change issues in the region and it is crucial that proper advice and guidance is provided to ensure that IAS fulfills its purpose.
Dr Johann Poinapen, Director of IAS, shared with the members the overarching strategic goals of the Institute as described in the five-year Strategic Plan (2017-2021).
He also presented a short video showcasing the services offered by the Institute, highlighting the three main roles of IAS which are:
Training and capacity building;
Services – Laboratory & Consultancies; and
Implementing Research and Development Projects.
Members were also briefed on the achievements of the Institute and the status of collaborative work undertaken with various government ministries and regional organisations.
In particular, IAS along with its project partners is developing the Access Benefit Sharing concept for the use of marine and terrestrial organisms for research and development purposes.
IAS has also set up a Biofuel Laboratory in partnership with the Fiji Government’s Ministry of Infrastructure to support the Government of Fiji in its efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing its dependency on fossil fuels.
Moreover, IAS has developed expertise in Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies.
Furthermore, IAS develops and offers short technical and scientific training courses that cannot be met through the normal teaching programmes of the University.
Dr Poinapen said people identify IAS as the regional institute that really works with applied solutions that are meaningful to improving their livelihoods.
Committee members expressed their appreciation for the clarity of information provided and made valuable comments on the strategic direction of the IAS to solidify its position as the leading scientific services provider in the region.
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