The Knowledge Advancement & Support (KAS) directorate contributes to the promotion and support of research by facilitating the advancement of the frontiers of existing and development of new fields of knowledge, and the necessary associated research capacity in the context of national research, developmental challenges and strategic initiatives.
KAS primarily focuses on the knowledge production activities at the basic research stage of the research-innovation-commercialisation value chain. It complements and works in parallel with the NRF value-chain directorates of Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD); Research Chairs and Centres of Excellence (RCCE) and Applied Research, Innovation and Collaboration (ARIC).
KAS depends on the cross-cutting units of the NRF and works in close liaison with Grant Management and Systems Administration (GMSA), Reviews and Evaluation (RE), International Relations and Cooperation (IRC), Institutional Engagement and Partnership Development (IEPD) and others to identify new business partners and initiatives; design new interventions; link with international partners and initiatives; facilitate transfer of knowledge; interact with communities and assess its work.
The specific objectives of the directorate are to:
- Facilitate the advancement of the frontiers of existing knowledge
- Facilitate the creation and discovery of new knowledge
- Promote active interaction and collaboration between researchers within and across disciplines and knowledge fields
- Strengthen scientific and professional organisations in the South African research landscape
- Investigate, map, analyse research interests and trends within and across disciplines and knowledge fields
- Refine or redefine research calls in light of the above development and interventions.