As a key unit of the NRF and in contributing to the promotion and support of research, the role of the Knowledge Fields Development (KFD) directorate is to facilitate the advancement of the frontiers of existing and development of new fields of knowledge, and the necessary associated research capacity within the context of national research and developmental challenges and strategic initiatives.
KFD primarily focuses on the activities at the beginning-end (i.e. basic research) of the research-innovation- commercialisation value chain.
It complements and works in parallel with other value-chain directorates of Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) and Applied Research and Innovation (ARI), and in close liaison with Grant Management and Systems Administration (GMSA).
The KFD directorate works and depends on cross-cutting units like New Business Development (NBD); International Relations [and Cooperation]; the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA); and Knowledge Management and Evaluation (KME) to identify new business partners and initiatives; link with international partners and initiatives; transfer knowledge; interact with communities and assess its work. The goals of the directorate are to:
- facilitate the advancement and pushing the frontiers of existing knowledge;
- facilitate the creation of new knowledge;
- promote active interaction between researchers within and across disciplines and knowledge fields;
- strengthen the scientific and professional organisations in the South African research community;
- investigate, map and 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.