Business Development and International Liaison

Business Development and International Liaison (BDIL)

Front Row (from left): Ms Carla Pheiffer (Adjunct Director x2324); Ms Bridgette Prince (Director x7968); Ms Peggy Chabala (Funding Search and Support Officer x8006).
Back Row (from left): Ms Naledi Hlalukana (Administrator x7985); Mr Gerrie Mnguni (Funding Search and Support Officer x2908); Ms Nicole van Rheede (Partnership Support Officer x8082)

What we do

BDIL has 2 distinct functions in the HSRC.  We are primarily responsible for building, developing and maintaining key partnership both nationally and internationally.   Through our engagement with partners and the utilisation of strategic opportunities we profile the HSRC and our research outputs.
A dedicated team of three staff members provide funding and proposal support to the research programmes. 

Partnership Support and Engagement

BDIL facilitates and coordinates strategic partnerships, collaboration and networking to expand the profile of the HSRC. The unit provides ongoing support to research programmes and researchers through facilitating engagements with National and International partners.

Key National and International Partners have been identified as critical to enhance the profile of the HSRC and to support the research priorities of programmes. On a National level, this includes Government Departments and Universities that are key stakeholders of the HSRC. We have developed strong links with the DST, NRF and other Science Councils to ensure that we work collaboratively and support key events and priorities of our respective institutions.

In terms of internationalising the work of the HSRC, the unit has developed and set up strong links with international embassies based in South Africa, international universities and research institutions. This is to ensure that the HSRC has an international presence.  In addition we have utilised MOUs with institutions in Africa to expand our footprint here.
The unit utilises a number of platforms like conferences and events to profile the HSRC and disseminate research outputs. This aspect of ensuring HSRC presence is done in collaboration with Communications and Press to maximise the impact of our institution and research.

In addition, we prepare, compile and disseminate an e-newsletter, titled Partnership in Action, which summarises and showcases all HSRC partnership and collaborative activities. This e-newsletter comes out on a quarterly basis. 

MOU management and support

The role of BDIL in the MOU process is to receive the MOU request from the Research Programme (RP).  We then ensure that the MOU template is in line with the institutionally accepted format and provide support to RP queries on the content and format.  BDIL then liaises with Legal to ensure that the MOU has been vetted and that there are no queries regarding the content.  Once Legal provides BDIL and RP with the Memo to confirm that the vetting process has taken place, the MOU is handed over to the CEO's Office for signing.  The RP ensure that their partners sign off and that the signed copies are sent onto Legal for uploading. Thereafter we are responsible for the overall monitoring and reporting of activities linked to MOUs.

BDIL is able to ensure through networking and profiling that the HSRC:  
•    Utilise MOUs signed identify key institutions and partners where there are research synergies to put in touch with HSRC researchers to exchange and agree on possible collaborative efforts.
•    Provide opportunities for institutions to visit and engage with HSRC staff
•    Identify key and strategic events and meetings where HSRC can be profiled and our research disseminated
•    Find opportunities to co-host roundtables, seminars and exhibitions or satellite sessions
•    Develop a database to create network for Researchers with partners of possible and potential collaborators in priority research areas