National ICT Research Capacity and Priorities for Cooperation - Republic of Uganda

National Priorities

The Ministry of ICT developed a five year sector Strategic and Investment Plan (ICT SIP) 2015/16 - 2019/20 to guide the systematic deployment of ICT for development and service delivery in line with the Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2015/16-2019/20. The Vision of the ICT SIP is "A knowledge-based Uganda enabled by a Vibrant ICT sector" and the mission is "to provide leadership and enabling environment for promotion of ICT as an industry, and enabler for transforming Uganda into a knowledge-based society". Thematic areas include: ICT Governance; ICT Infrastructure; Human Capital Development and Planning; Information Security; Research, Innovation and Development; ICT Health, Safety and Environment; Cross cutting areas; Promotion of eServices and Local Content; eGovernment; ICT Industry promotion in target markets and Promoation and Coordination of ICT in other sectors.

National ICT Research Priorities include:

- Health & eHealth: Diagnostics; Epidemiological survey; Health care; Telemedicine; Service delivery. Institutions involved include: Ministry of Health, Makerere University, Mbarara University and Gulu University

- Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture: Climate Change; Agroforestry; Marketing; Agribusiness. Institutions involved include: Ministry of Agriculture, Makerere University, Gulu University and USAID.

- Secure clean and efficient energy. Institutions involved include: Ministry of Education and GIZ.

- Future Internet: Networks, Software Services, Wireless and mobile Applications. Institutions involved include: Makerere University

- Technology-enhanced Learning

- eGovernment

- Digital Content, Digital Libraries and Geographic Information Systems

National Research Capacit y

The following universities and research centres in Uganda are undertaking ICT-related initiatives:

Makerere University

- Departments include: Faculty of ICT (Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Sciences), Business School , East African School of Library and Information Science

- Research areas include: Mobile Applications, ICT for Governance and Policy modelling, eInfrastructures, Information Systems, Networks, ICT for Sustainable Development, Software Engineering

Kyambogo University

- Departments include: Department of Computer Science; Department of Mathematics; Department of Physics;

- Research areas include: Technology-enhanced Learning, Inclusive Society

Mbarara University of Science & Technology

- Departments include: Faculty of Science; Institute of Computer Science

- Research areas include: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Services, Information Technology, Software incubation

Uganda Christian University (UCU)

- Departments include: Faculty of Science & Technology - Departments of Computing, Environmental Science and Health Science

Gulu University

- Departments include: Computer Science, Library and Information Services, Biosystems Engineering

- Research areas include: eGovernance, eInclusion, eHealth, Technology-enhanced Learning, Agriculture, Environment

Kampala International University

- Departments include: Computer Science - Information Technology and Systems, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Uganda Martyrs University

- Research areas include: Technology-enhanced Learning

Bugema University

- Departments include: Computing and Technology

- Research areas include: eHealth, GIS, Engineering, eEducation; Mobile Communications; eAgriculture

ICT-39 Priority Themes

Based on consultation with stakeholders and additional information collected during the IST-Africa Horizon 2020 Training Workshop in December 2016 the following thematic areas are considered to be important in the context of the ICT-39 Call:

Thematic Areas Topics Partners include
eHealth Health diagnosis and Surveillance; Telemedicine and remote diagnosis; Epidemiology: Disease Surveillance and Early Warning systems; Monitoring of non-communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes etc) Makerere University; Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Gulu University
eAgriculture Commodity Supply Chain, Extension services, Early Warning systems Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Makerere University; Gulu University
Technology-enhanced Learning Distance learning, content development Makerere University; Kyambogo University; Ndejje University; Bugema University; Mbarara University of Science and Technology
Environment Biomass Energy; Climate change mitigation; Renewable Energy Makerere University

Mapping to H2020 Themes

The initial mapping to Horizon 2020 Research areas is summarised below

Horizon 2020 Industrial Leadership Institution, Relevant Dept and Research area
Components and Systems Makerere University (Department of Electrical Engineering); Uganda Technology Management University: Smart Embedded Components
Advanced Computing Makerere University; Mbarara University of Science and Technology
Future Internet Makerere University
Content Technologies & Information Management Makerere University; Gulu University : Technology-enhanced Learning; Uganda Martyrs University: Technology-enhanced Learning
Robotics Makerere University (Faculty of Engineering): Robotics

Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges Institution, Relevant Dept and Research area
Health Makerere University (School of Public Health): Epidemiology, Diagnostics, Telemedicine; Mbarara University of Science and Technology: Epidemiology; Gulu University (Faculty of Medicine): Diagnostics, infectious diseases, Epidemiology
Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture Makerere University (College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences): Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security, Agri-business, Crop breeding, biotech, bioinfomatics
Energy Makerere University (College of Computer and Information Technology, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering)
Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies Makerere University (College of Computer and Information Technology): eInclusion
Secure Societies Makerere University (College of Computer and Information Technology): Information Security

Level of Research Maturity

Uganda has a strong research base and good experience of collaborative research having participated in more than 41 projects and securing over € 7.7 million in research funding under FP7.

Up to May 2017, Ugandan organisations are involved in 14 projects with research funding of €4.6 million across a range of thematic areas:

- INFRA, H2020-INFRASUPP-2014-2 - B3Africa (CSA - Coordination & support action) - Makerere University

- HEALTH, H2020-HCO-2015 - FRESH AIR (RIA - Research and Innovation action) - Makerere University

- FOOD, H2020-SFS-2014-1 - PROIntensAfrica (CSA - Coordination & support action) - African forum for Agricultural Advisory Services & The Registered Trustees of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa)

- FOOD, H2020-SFS-2014-2 - PROTEIN2FOOD (RIA - Research and Innovation action) - Makerere University

- HEALTH, H2020-HCO-2014 - SMART2D (RIA - Research and Innovation action) - Makerere University

- H2020-PHC-2015-single-stage_RTD - EHVA (RIA) Uganda National Health Research Organisation

- H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage - VicInAqua (RIA) National Agricultural Research Organisation

- H2020-ISSI-2015-1 - BigPicnic (CSA) - Tooro Botanical Gardens

- H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage - WATERSPOUTT (RIA) - Makerere University

- H2020-ICT-2016-INT - IST-Africa 2016-2018 (CSA) - Uganda National Council for Science and Technology

- H2020-INFRASUPP-2016-1 - UBORA (CSA) - Uganda Industrial Research Institute

- H2020-SC1-2016-RTD - SPICES (RIA) - Makerere University

- H2020-SC1-2016-RTD - Perform 2 scale (RIA) - Makerere University)

- H2020-SFS-2016-1 - LEAP-AGRI (ERA-NET-Cofund)- Uganda National Council for Science and Technology

There is research capacity in the areas of ICT, Environment, Health, Technology-enhanced Learning, Food Security and Agriculture.

Uganda has benefited significantly from participation in the IST-Africa Initiative through capacity building, training workshops, establishing and training of National Contact Points, workshops that support knowledge exchange and collaboration at national level, support for national researchers to publish research papers and present research results at international scientific conferences as well as access to a network of policy makers and research institutions across Africa and Europe.

ICT research funding at national level is currently complicated and insufficient mainly because of its silo-based nature which is at odds with the dynamic, interdisciplinary and cross-fertilization nature of modern ICT related innovations.