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Finalists announced: 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 1 June 2018 21:01

 

 

 

Finalists announced:
2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Recognising excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology and innovation in South Africa

 

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is pleased to announce the group of finalists contending for the prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards. This is the 20th year of the annual NSTF-South32 Awards.
 
The 20th year celebration: The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.
 
Our partner: South32 is a metals and mining company that de-merged from BHP Billiton in 2016. It took over the co-branding sponsorship agreement for the annual NSTF Awards.
 
The ‘Science Oscars’: The NSTF-South32 Awards are referred to as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa. They are the largest, most comprehensive, and most sought-after national awards of their kind in the country. They were also the first science awards in South Africa.
 

NSTF-South32 Awards’ theme: The theme for the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards is Sustainable Energy for All. This is in recognition of the International decade of Sustainable Energy (2014-2024) as declared by United Nations. The 20th annual Awards Gala Dinner will celebrate this theme on 28 June 2018.

 

 

New features were introduced for some categories and the criteria as follows:

  • Innovation awards: The Innovation Category has greater emphasis on ‘innovation’. The Research for Innovation Awards is now the ‘Awards for Innovations and their research and/or development’. 
  • Research categories: All research categories are now open to anyone thoroughly experienced in research, regardless of whether they have a PhD. We have also strengthened the focus on further development of outputs towards innovation. 
  • Special Annual Theme Award: This year the NSTF’s special annual theme award is for a contribution to SET and innovation towards Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa.
 

 

A transformed country where SET and innovation contribute to a high quality of life for all who live in South Africa, where the profile of SET professionals is representative of the nation’s diverse population and where the education system is effective, particularly in terms of performance in SET subjects and the promotion of innovation.
 
Realising the vision: The NSTF-South32 Awards is the NSTF’s flagship event and one among other strategic activities through which the NSTF realises this vision. Partnerships for specific awards (such as that with the Water Research Commission, GreenMatter, and Eskom) recognise contributions that have the potential to make a positive impact on South Africa, and on the world.

 

 

It is an extraordinary honour to be an Award finalist; given the quality of the nominations received, the fierce competition that nominees face, and the growing interest from the community over the years.
 
Join the NSTF membership and pioneering partners/sponsors in applauding the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards finalists. These comprise individuals, teams and organisations, as applicable, who have made an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation in South Africa under the categories below:

  • Text in italics at the end of the citation of the nominee indicates that a nominee has been nominated under more than one category
  • Listed alphabetical according to surname of nominee or name of team/organisation under each category
 

 

Lifetime Award

(by an individual over a lifetime – 15 years or more)

  • Bradley, Prof John – Honorary Professor, Department (Dept) of Education, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Harvey, Prof Brian – Professor, Division of Pharmacology, Programme Leader: Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, North-West University; Programme Leader: South African Medical Research Council Unit on Risk and Resilience, University of Cape Town
  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation (NRF) Nanosciences LABS and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter category and the Special Annual Theme Award
  • Owen-Smith, Prof Norman – Emeritus Research Professor, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Wits
  • Pityana, Prof Sisa – Principal Researcher, National Laser Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Rubidge, Prof Bruce – Director, Dept of Science and Technology-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, Wits
  • Stacey, Prof TR (Dick) – Professor Emeritus, School of Mining, Wits and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Wall, Prof Kevin – Part-time Extraordinary Professor, Dept of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria (UP), retired as CSIR Built Environment Fellow and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission category
  • Xia, Prof Xiaohua – Professor in the Dept of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, UP and also in the Special Annual Theme Award category

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Researcher

(contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 15 years as a researcher, predominantly in South Africa)

  • Fuller, Prof Andrea – Professor: School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Director: Brain Function Research Group, Wits; Extraordinary Lecturer, Department (Dept) of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Faculty, University of Pretoria (UP) 
  • Hui, Prof Cang – Professor and Dept of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARCHi) Chair: Tier 1: Dept of Mathematical Sciences, University of Stellenbosch (SU); Research Chair: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); Core Team Member: DST/ NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, SU
  • Lall, Prof Namrita – Professor and DST/NRF SARChI Chair: Plant Health Products from Indigenous Knowledge Systems, UP 
  • Loots, Prof du Toit – Research Director: Human Metabolomics, North-West University (NWU) 
  • Malan, Prof Leoné – Professor in Neurophysiology, Hypertension in Africa Research Team, NWU 
  • Matsha, Prof Tandi – Professor and Head, Dept of Biomedical Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology 
  • Mellado, Prof Bruce – Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, Wits and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • Ndwandwe, Prof Muzi Osman – Executive Director, Richards Bay Campus, University of Zululand
  • Nyembwe, Dr Kasongo – Senior Lecturer, formerly Head (2004-2016), Dept of Metallurgy, University of Johannesburg
  • Pretorius, Prof Etheresia (Resia) – Professor and Head, Dept of Physiological Sciences; and Director, Applied Morphology Research Centre, Dept of Physiology, SU

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging researcher

(contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 6 years in research, predominantly in South Africa)

  • Becker, Dr Thorsten – Senior Lecturer, Department (Dept) of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University; and Visiting Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town (UCT)
  • Bezuidenhout, Prof Daniela – Associate Professor, Inorganic Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Collinson, Mrs Wendy – Wildlife and Roads Project Executant, Endangered Wildlife Trust
  • Fosso-Kankeu, Prof Elvis – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, University of the North-West and also in the NSTF–Water Research Commission category
  • Manzi, Dr Musa – Senior Researcher and Director, Seismic Research Centre, School of Geosciences, Wits
  • Marakalala, Dr Mohlopheni – Senior Lecture: Division of Immunology, UCT
  • Mpofu, Prof Khumbulani – Professor, Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development, Tshwane University of Technology and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Musyoka, Dr Nicholas – Senior Researcher in energy materials research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Yacoob, Dr Sahal – Senior Lecturer, Dept of Physics, UCT

Management Award

(contribution through management and related SET and innovation activities over the last 5-10 years)

  • Jandrell, Prof Ian – Personal Professor, School of Electrical and Information Engineering; and Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; and Joint leader, High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Motaung, Prof Keolebogile – Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology; and Founder: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • Tollman, Prof Stephen – Research Professor and Head: Division of Health and Population, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Director: SA Medical Research Council/University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Rural Health and Health Transitions Research Unit; and Principal Scientist: International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health, Ghana

Engineering Research Capacity Development Awards

(contribution by an individual over the last 5 to 10 years – Eskom sponsors two awards one for a male and one for a female for contributions in Engineering)

  • Booysen, Mr Gerrie Jacobus – Director, Centre for Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing, Central University of Technology and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • De Koning, Prof Charles – Professor of Organic Chemistry and Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Diale, Prof Mmantsae – Associate Professor, Department (Dept) of Physics, University of Pretoria
  • Jandrell, Prof Ian – Personal Professor, School of Electrical and Information Engineering; and Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; and Joint leader of the High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits and also in the Management and related activities category
  • Marx, Prof Sanette – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering; and National Research Foundation Research Chair in Biofuels and Other Clean Alternative Fuels; and Centre of Excellence in Carbon-based Fuels, North-West University
  • Mpofu, Prof Khumbulani – Professor, Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development, Tshwane University of Technology and also in the Emerging Researcher category
  • Petrik, Prof Leslie – Professor, Dept of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission and NSTF-GreenMatter award categories
  • Pityana, Prof Sisa – Principal Researcher, National Laser Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and also in the Lifetime category
  • Stacey, Prof T Richard (Dick) –  Professor Emeritus, School of Mining, Wits and also in the Lifetime category

NSTF-GreenMatter Award: Towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy

(contribution by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years) sponsored by GreenMatter

  • Endangered Wildlife Trust, contribution to the Groen Sebenza Initiative – Head of Resource Development: Ms Alison Janicke
  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the Lifetime and the Special Annual Theme categories
  • Petrik, Prof Leslie – Professor, Department (Dept) of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development categories
  • Van Wilgen, Prof Brian – Professor, Centre for Invasion Biology, Dept of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University
  • Winkler, Prof Harald – Professor and Director, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town and also in the Special Annual Theme category

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award: Sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions

(by an individual or an organisation to be awarded in recognition of demonstrated leadership and impact over the last 5 to 10 years) sponsored by the WRC

  • Fosso-Kankeu, Prof Elvis – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North-West University and also in the Emerging Researcher category
  • Msagati, Prof Titus – Professor, Research Unit of Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability, College of Science, University of South Africa
  • Petrik Prof Leslie – Professor, Department (Dept) of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development categories
  • Wall, Prof Kevin – Part-time Extraordinary Professor, Dept of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria; retired as Built Environment Fellow, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and also in the Lifetime category

Data for Research Award: For advancing the availability, management and use of data for research

(by an individual or an organisation)

  • Health Information Systems Program, South Africa: National Program Managers and Database Managers – Director: Ms Christa van den Bergh
  • South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) –  Coordinator and team leader: Mr Benjamin Roberts, Human Sciences Research Council

Innovation Awards – Corporate organisation: For innovations and their research and/or development

(by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

  • Booysen, Mr Gerrie Jacobus – Director, Centre for Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing, Central University of Technology and also in the Engineering Capacity Development category
  • Botes, Mr Willem – Research Lead, Department of Science and Technology/Grain SA Wheat Breeding Platform; and Senior Lecturer, Genetics Plant Breeding Laboratory, Genetics Department, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University
  • Mellado, Prof Bruce – Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand and also in the Researcher category
  • Motaung, Prof Keolebogile – Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology; and Founder, Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd and also in the Management and related activities category
  • NWU Solar Car Team – Manager: Prof Albert Helberg, North-West University
  • Swarts, Mrs Wilma – Group Head, Marketing and Commercial Services, Lonmin Plc

Innovation Awards – Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME): for innovations and their research and/or development

(by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

  • CFAM Technologies (Pty) Ltd – Managing Director and Lecturer, School of Mechanical Engineering, North-West University: Mr Danie Vorster
  • Memeza Team from Memeza Shout (Pty) Ltd – Chief Executive Officer: Ms Thulile Mthethwa
  • SUN Magnetics (Pty) Ltd – Director and Professor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University: Dr Coenraad Fourie

Communication for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation Award

(by a team or individual over the last 5 years)

  • Manxoyi, Mr Sivuyile – Coordinator, Universe Awareness National Project; and Manager, Southern African Large Telescope Collateral Benefits Programme, South African Astronomical Observatory
  • Marnewick, Prof Jeanine – Research Chair, Biotechnology; and Head, Oxidative Stress Research Centre, Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Medupe, Prof Thebe – Chairperson of National Astrophysics and Space Science programme Consortium, and Professor of Physics, North-West University
  • University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC) – Director of UP ISMC; and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Professor, Environmental Health, School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria: Prof Christiaan (Tiaan) de Jager
  • Wits Communication Services – Head and Team Leader: Ms Shirona Patel, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Award

(contribution over the last 5 to 10 years to SET including innovation, technology transfer, and education and training activities)

  • Midlands Sustainable Sugar Supply Collaboration (KwaZulu-Natal) – Coordinator: Mrs Janet Edmonds
  • Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE) – Committee Chair and Professor of SA Numeracy, University of the Witwatersrand: Prof Hamsa Venkat
  • The Platinum Incubator – Chief Executive Officer: Ms Sibongile Purity Shongwe, Rustenburg

Special Annual Theme Award: Towards Sustainable Energy for All

(awarded according to criteria in any of the other categories but which meet this objective)

For 2018, the award is made in recognition of the ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ as declared by the United Nations

  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist, National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS; and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter and the Lifetime categories
  • Strategic Environment Assessment Team, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Research Group Leader: Mr Paul Lochner
  • Winkler, Prof Harald – Professor and Director of Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter category
  • Xia, Prof Xiaohua – Professor in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria and also in Lifetime category
 

 

Adjudication: The accreditation and selection processes for the NSTF-South32 Awards are made by an adjudication panel of independent judges. They represent six different sectors of the NSTF membership within which the NSTF operates. This adjudication panel, in conjunction with the Award partners, reviewed the nominations to select the finalists and winners each year. A panel of experts, appointed by the NSTF Executive Committee, also assists the panel by reviewing and validating the final selections.
 
Youth programmes: One of the features that make these awards unique is that youth outreach is an integral part of the awards. Two NSTF Youth outreach programmes are run annually in conjunction with the NSTF Awards. 

  • The NSTF Brilliants Programme identifies and celebrates the top achievers in physical science and mathematics studying in science, engineering and medicine from the previous year’s matric examinations. It exposes these young people to the SET community. Eighteen students (a man and a woman from each province) are recognised as the future leaders and innovators of our nation.
  • Success is not about where you are, but who you have elevated in the process. The NSTF Share ‘n Dare Programme is an output of the NSTF-South32 Awards that profiles award winners as youth role models. Award winners share their experience in the SET field at science centres and universities across the country. They encourage the youth to take up careers in SET. Thousands of South Africans are also reached through community and campus radio station awareness talks.
 

 

The announcement of the winners will take place at the prestigious NSTF Awards gala dinner taking place on 28 June 2018 in Gauteng.

 

 

The patron of the NSTF Awards, the Minister of Science and Technology, presides over the programme. The new Minister, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane confirmed her attendance to participate in the proceedings this year. The event is a glamorous affair attended by the cream of the crop of the SET community. It is the largest event of its kind and is open to the public. Over 600 guests attend the event. The SET community is invited to book tables for their organisations to celebrate the achievements of the nominees and finalists. Contact Ms Kgaugelo Teffo at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-2632/3987.

 

 

There are two media partners of the NSTF Awards to ensure national public recognition to the winners, as well as to facilitate the communication of science to the broader public. They are:

Business Report (since 2010), distributed through The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times, and The Mercury
Mail & Guardian (since 2011)

 Both these newspapers carry supplements about the winners the day after the Awards gala dinner (Friday, 29 June 2018). Unique advertising opportunities are available for your brand. Contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632.

 

 

Organisations are invited to join hands with the NSTF to widen the reach and impact of the NSTF-South32 Awards and youth programmes. Partnerships are available on new and existing award categories and outreach programmes. Contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632.
 
Please forward this email to your colleagues, business contacts and all interested persons to promote the Who’s Who of SET and innovation in South Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated Friday, 1 June 2018 19:01

Nominations invited for the 2018 ORSSA Student Competition

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 14:41

As you may know, the Operations Research Society of South Africa each year awards two prestige medals to the winners of its national student competition.  These medals are

  • The Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal for the Best Fourth Year Project, and
  • The Theodor Stewart Medal for the Best Master’s Thesis.

Halls of Fame, featuring past winners of these medals, may be found at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Awards.StudentCompetition.

The medals are awarded at the annual conference which this year takes place from 16 to 19 September at the CSIR International Convention Centre, in Pretoria  (see the conference website at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.ORSSA). Entries to the competition will be ranked by an independent Selection Committee of expert judges not affiliated with the tertiary institutions of nominees, based solely on the written project or thesis submissions, after which the top two entries in each of the underlined categories above will be designated as finalists.  There will be a special finalists' competition session at the conference during which these finalists (or representatives appointed by them) will be required to present their work in order to showcase the quality of the best operational research work by students in South Africa.  Should a finalist neither be able to present their work at the conference nor be able to send a representative to present their work on their behalf, such an entry will be disqualified, in which case the third ranked entry, then the fourth ranked entry and so forth will be designated as finalist, until two finalists in each category have been identified whose work can indeed be presented at the conference.

Nominations for written projects/theses in the above underlined categories are gathered by a Nomination Committee, which acts independently from the eventual Selection Committee. I have been tasked by the ORSSA President to convene the Nomination Committee for the 2018 ORSSA Annual Student Competition.  Supervising Lecturers are hereby invited to submit entries for the above competition categories to Jan van Vuuren, the convenor of the Nomination Committee, at vuuren@sun.ac.za by no later than Friday May 11th 2018.  Students are not allowed to nominate their own work. Each nomination should be accompanied by a completed nomination form (see attached), and include a short statement by the supervisor in question on the degree of independence with which the student conducted the research, as well as an electronic copy of the relevant project/thesis in pdf format on which the following information should appear clearly:

  • The name of the student,
  • The name of the supervisor,
  • The date of submission of the project/thesis, and
  • The name of the University at which the project/thesis was submitted.

It is a requirement that students whose projects or theses are submitted should have qualified for graduation at their respective universities late in 2016 or early in 2017 (i.e. no earlier than May 1st 2017 and no later than April 30th 2018). The finalists will be announced on Friday June 29th 2018 and will be required to register and submit an abstract on their submitted work online (at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.SubmitAbstract) for presentation at the annual conference by July 22nd 2018.  A new set of competition rules, recently approved by the Executive Committee of the Operations Research Society of South Africa, is attached for your information.

 

Yours truly,

 

Prof Jan H van Vuuren  |  BSc(Hons) MSc (Stell); DPhil (Oxon)  |  PrSciNat FORSSA
Professor (Operasionele Navorsing)  |  Professor (Operations Research) 

Departement Bedryfsingenieurswese  |  Department of Industrial Engineering  


Attachments:

AdjudicationRubric2.pdf 214.1K 4 May 18 14:41
NominationForm.pdf 14.0K 4 May 18 14:41

Media Release: SA’s path to sustainable energy for all #SEforAll

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 12:46

 

SA’s path to sustainable energy for all

‘Sustainable energy for all’ can seem like a fanciful bumper sticker. Is it even possible? How does one begin to address it?

 

Climate change consequences have forced decision making and driven society to take on global goals to ensure the survival of earth’s inhabitants. And the goals are intertwined with one impacting on the other.
 
‘Affordable and clean energy’ is number 7 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s the UN’s ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ currently. There is also ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SEforALL), a global non-profit organisation launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

 

 

Need for ongoing national discussion forum
The topic and the goal are immense – whether one considers it on a global or national level. It’s transdisciplinary and cuts across industries.

There is also an emphasis on developing partnerships to tackle the challenge. At the same time, science, engineering and technology (SET) are positioned as key to finding solutions.
 
Consequently, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) held a Discussion Forum on ‘Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa’. It ran from 16-17 April 2018 in Gauteng.

 
The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to address important issues and engage with government policy.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders. 

·         Recommendations are put forward to government as part of the SET community’s lobbying efforts.

 

 

NDP’s low-carbon economy
As part of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, a low carbon future is positioned as the only realistic option. While the NDP presents an integrated energy sector with adequate investment in infrastructure, it recognises that trade-offs must come into play.
 
The integrated and diversified energy sector must support economic growth through job creation, export, and R&D for competitive advantage. The focus is on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation but this is balanced with supply security, safety, affordability, and access. These remain relevant in today’s context. While historically policies have focused on minerals and energy, renewable energy is now an integral part of SA’s energy mix.
 
Policy context
South Africa is a signatory to the Paris (COP21) Agreement 2016 – which aims to reduce global warming through each country’s actions – explains Dr Rebecca Maserumule, Chief Director: Hydrogen and Energy at the National Department of Science and Technology (DST). In her presentation, she notes that South Africa’s guiding frameworks include:

·         The NDP with its focus on investments in energy infrastructure, affordable tariffs for needy households, and diversifying energy resources and supply options.

·         The National Climate Change Response Strategy for long-term mitigation scenarios.

·         The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) with its focus on re-industrialisation, support for local beneficiation, and local manufacturing.

·         The National Energy Act and universal access to modern forms of energy services, energy security through guaranteed supply, optimal use of economically-viable energy resources, and addressing constraints on the renewable industry. This includes the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The latter aims for 42% of electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Research focus areas include clean coal technologies, nuclear energy, renewable energy (eg solar, biofuels, and wind), energy efficiency and energy demand management, and hydrogen and fuel cells research. In most cases, says Dr Maserumule, the research has been in place for over a decade through partnerships with key research institutions.

Systems around sustainable energy
One of the ways to understand sustainable energy is to look at its impacts in various areas. Prof Sanette Marx, DST/National Research Foundation Research (NRF) Chair in Biofuels at North West University, considers three areas: environmental impact, economic impact, and social impact. We can consider something sustainable when it’s equitable, viable, and socially and environmentally acceptable.
 
Broader definition of energy poverty
Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz, Associate Professor from the University of Pretoria, questions whether energy poverty is only lack of access? Energy poverty impacts not only on lighting – consider heating, cooking, and communications. Access to the latter has a knock-on effect because it affects knowledge transfer such as with internet access.
 
She presents the following definition: “…the absence of sufficient choice in accessing adequate, affordable, reliable, high-quality, safe and environmentally benign energy services to support economic and human development” (Reddy, 2000). She notes that the definition acknowledges the absence of choice and the role of affordable and adequate technology.
 
Renewable energy in waste
SA continues to innovate in the renewable energy space. Take the work done by IDEAS – the Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability – at UNISA.

 

 

Using a transdisciplinary approach, the research focuses on environmentally-responsible chemical conversion technologies, with particular emphasis on sustainable and flexible small-scale solutions and using surplus and underused resources (such as municipal waste and sewerage). This is waste as a resource, not a health hazard.

 

Clean energy in organic waste
Consider a rural family who cooks on a two-plate stove for 2 hours a day (at simmer) and heats up 40 litres/day water to 50⁰C. One cow, with the family’s human waste, could supply this energy.

 

 

Prof Diane Hildebrandt, Director of IDEAS, explains that they have developed small-scale anaerobic biodigesters. These are basically large double-walled bags where you feed in organic waste and slurry comes out on the other end. The slurry overflow has no smell and can be used as a fertiliser. The biodigesters produce biogas while removing pathogens from waste (with consequent reduced health risks). IDEAS is developing a business case to show employment benefits, as well as cost reduction for immediate users and the municipality.

 

 

Developing clean coal technologies
Coal is not environmentally acceptable as such, but we can make it so through clean coal technologies, says Prof Sanette Marx. One of her research areas is hydrothermal liquefaction – a method to produce biochar for creating cleaner coal. The first patent and pilot plant occurred in 2016/17.
 
Prof Rosemary Falcon, currently a Director of the Fossil Fuel Foundation, was the SARChI (South African Research) Chair in Clean Coal Technology at Wits University until she retired last year. She and Dr Samson Bada are part of the DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group. Part of this is the High Efficiency and Low Emissions (HELE) Programme. It looks at options for environmentally-responsible use of coal.

 

About coal

·         SA is the 7th largest producer of coal in the world and the 7th largest exporter.

·         Coal accounts for the highest foreign exchange earnings in SA since 2011.

·         It’s the largest mining income earner, beating gold, platinum and diamonds.

·         There are over 255 000 direct employees in coal-related industries. It also supports most major towns in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and some in KZN.

(DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group)

 

 

What about shale gas?
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of debate around drilling for shale gas and its environmental impact. Research from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA), University of Johannesburg, looks at ‘Questioning the existence of an economic producible shale gas resource in the southern Main Karoo Basin based on results of the CIMERA-Karin drilling project’.
 
One of the aims was to establish the maturity and shale gas potential by direct measurements of gas content. Prof Nicolas Beukes explains that nothing like this had been done before. Everything previously had been speculation including shale gas estimates.
 
After the CIMERA-KARIN Drilling Project with the first true gas measurements, very little to no gas was detected. The conclusion is that shale gas potential looks to be much lower than initially estimated. There are some provisos, such as the project not specifically targeting ‘sweet spots’.
 
Prof Beukes explains that we need to do the science first. We need to answer the question of whether South Africa actually has an economically viable shale gas resource. This will avoid unnecessary environmental concerns and legal battles.
 
Models for SA’s energy mix?
The CSIR Energy Centre has been developing models for SA’s energy mix. Currently, energy is coal dominated with end use being 25% transport, 25% electricity and 50% heating and cooling.
 
CSIR’s Mr Jarrad Wright explains that globally there have been significant cost reductions in renewable energy. Solar PV technology and wind technology, for example, have now become cost competitive. Focusing on electricity, Wright showed that – whether there is a high or low demand forecast for South Africa – there is a gap. This needs to be filled in the least-cost manner and with a reliable and flexible energy supply.
 
Three scenarios were presented:

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Base Case sees the energy mix as ⅓ coal, ⅓ nuclear, and ⅓ renewable energy.

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Carbon Budget Case sees nuclear energy take a 40% share by 2050.

·         The Least Cost Case is largely based on wind and solar PV complemented by flexibility (including existing coal, new gas, hydro and concentrated solar power). This case deploys considerable solar PV and wind – and flexibility – with no new investments in coal or nuclear capacity. The scenario includes a managed system of energy supply.


Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.

Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. 

 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 

NSTF eNews: The land issue and food security, Sustainable Energy Discussion Forum, and more

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 13:10

 

 

Message from NSTF Executive Director

Ms Jansie Niehaus, NSTF Executive Director, discusses the land issue, food security, and the broader picture when it comes to understanding agriculture in South Africa. Read more

 

NSTF News

 

 

Announcement of 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards nominees

See the full list of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards nominees. The finalists will be announced in the middle of May 2018.
 
If you have any questions, please email enquiries@nstf.co.za
 

 

Attend the Gala dinner for 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

This is the 20th year for the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards. The gala dinner is taking place on Thursday, 28 June 2018 with the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. (She is the patron the Awards.) To book your table, please contact Ms Bokgabo Tlhaku at enquiries@nstf.co.za. For sponsorship details, contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.co.za.

 

 

Discussion Forum on Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa

The first 2018 NSTF Discussion Forum is on 16-17 April 2018 in Kempton Park, Gauteng. The topic is ‘Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa’. The United Nations has declared this decade as the international decade of sustainable energy for all (#SEforAll). Register online by no later than Wednesday, 11 April 2018.

·         This is a FREE event for all employees of NSTF Member Organisations across the six sectors.

·         See the programme which includes speakers from the National Planning Commission, the International Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Eskom.

·         The NSTF provides a collaborative and neutral platform to discuss and respond to issues around environmentally and economically sustainable energy, as well as access of energy for all. The discussion forums provide an excellent space to network, lobby and influence public policy, and hear dynamic presentations.

·         The world relies on the science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation sector to provide new ways of obtaining clean, reusable and sustainable energy. It is important – as a unified SET community – to present our recommendations to policy makers and research institutions.

 

 

Getting to know our award winners: Prof George Ekama

Prof George Ekama is in high demand across the globe. He has spent over 40 years researching ways to keep South Africa’s water clean and running. As such, he is frequently consulted on solutions for water-stressed cities.
 
Prof Ekama is professor of water quality engineering at the University of Cape Town. Read more about his work.
 
He is the winner of the NSTF-GreenMatter Award for achievement by an individual or team towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental stability and a greener economy.
 

 

Dr Mpho Lekgoathi and Ms Rebaone Gaven welcomed on EXCO and Science Councils Committee

The NSTF welcomes Dr Mpho Lekgoathi as a new EXCO member representing the state-owned enterprises (SOE) sector. He is a Senior Scientist in the Research and Development Division, South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa). Career highlights include patenting a new process and co-authoring in a peer-reviewed publication on the world’s first evidence of a comet fragment on planet earth.
 
The NSTF also welcomes Ms Rebaone Gaven of NECSA as vice-chair under Chair Mr Nirdesh Singh of Mintek, on the Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Committee. She works at Necsa and is a Technician in the Gamma Spectroscopy and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Group. She is also the Necsa Branch Secretary of the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society (SAYNPS).

 

 

Dr Sibusiso Manzini appointed Non-Executive Director
of NSTF NPC

The NSTF welcomes Dr Sibusiso Manzini as a non-executive director of the NSTF non-profit company (NPC). Dr Manzini is the Executive Programme Director at GreenMatter. He has had a wide-ranging career including science and maths teaching, Deputy Chief Education Specialist at the national Department of Education, and Director: Multilateral Partnerships at the Department of Science and Technology. He has also been Group Manager at the CSIR.

 

 

Getting to know our award winners: Prof João Rodrigues

The University of Witwatersrand’s school of physics is internationally acknowledged for the type and quality of research work carried out. In terms of this work and the school’s capabilities, it’s internationally rated in the top 1% in the field of physics worldwide.

Prof João Rodrigues is largely responsible for enabling the school to achieve this position. Read more about his work. He is one of the winners in the 2016/2017 NSTF-South32 Awards category – Management and related activities over the last 5-10 years.

 

Share ‘n Dare activities

The NSTF promotes science, engineering, technology (SET), including mathematics and innovation, among the youth. The Share ‘n Dare Programme is sponsored by the Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation.
 
The NSTF, under the Share ‘n Dare programme, attended the 2018 Grahamstown Science Festival (Scifest). The Festival ran from 7-13 March 2018 and was held in multiple venues in and around Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. Participating in Scifest and consequently the March round of the NSTF Share ‘n Dare talks, were NSTF Award winners: Prof Lesley Cornish and Prof Eugene Cloete. Read more.

 

 

The MAPPP NINE programme

Phase I of the pilot NRAO/SARAO Multi-wavelength Public Engagement Programme (MAPPP) National and International Non-Traditional Exchange (NINE) is now complete. (NRAO stands for National Radio Astronomy Observatory. SARAO stands for the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory.) Twelve participants graduated after they pitched each of their 12 projects to a panel of evaluators and potential funders in Pretoria on Friday, 16 March. Bokgabo Tlhaku from the NSTF was one of the 12 participants. Read more.

 

 

Mzansi Bright Sparks

Thembinkosi Johannes Manyeruke is from Gauteng. He is studying BSc Mathematical Statistics at the University of Pretoria.

He is one of the first-year students who were recognised in the 2016/2017 NSTF Brilliants Programme for top marks in mathematics and physical science in the National Senior Certificate Examinations.
 

“I love statistics… With Mathematical Statistics, I can make a difference in my country as Dr Pali Lehohla has done. I’d love to make statistical reports that can provide a breakthrough in the South African state of things, mostly in the economic (financial) and health sector.”

 

Bursary Directory

Find the latest bursaries in science, engineering and technology (SET), sponsored by the Fuchs Foundation. Recently-added bursaries include those from:

·         Jones & Wagener Bursary Scheme

·         Kantey & Templer Bursary

·         Sasol Bursary Scheme

·         GAST Bursary Programme

·         Power Group Bursaries

·         FMCSA Ford Bursary

·         Nedbank Bursary Programme

Visit the www.nstf.org.za/bursary to find information on available bursaries, the different SET careers, and inspiring stories of people in SET.

 

 

 

 

Featured SET policy: Positioning South Africa in the world (Chapter 7, NDP)

In a series of articles, the NSTF is unpacking the National Development Plan. This section looks at international and continental policies and trade agreements. The chapter touches on the importance of knowledge sharing. Read more.
 
Click here for the complete document of all the previous summaries.

SET-related policies currently open for public comment

Policies open for comment allow the science, engineering and technology (SET) community to keep track of the changing regulation environment. It is the last chance to comment on a policy. 

·         National Environmental Management Act: Intention to adopt Integrated Environmental Management Plan if Square Kilometre Array (Phase 1) as environmental management instrument and to exclude activities from obtaining authorisation: Comments invited (Comment by: Monday, April 16, 2018)

·         National Environmental Management Act: Generic environmental management programme relevant to application for environmental authorisation for substation infrastructure for transmission and distribution of electricity: Comments invited (Comment by: Tuesday, April 17, 2018)

·         National Environmental Management Act: Generic environmental management programme applicable to application for overhead electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure for which environmental authorisation is required: Comments invited (Comment by: Tuesday, April 17, 2018)

·         Occupational Health and Safety Act: Regulations: Asbestos abatement: Comments invited (Comment by Thursday, April 19, 2018)

·         Roads Policy for South Africa: Comments invited (Comment by: Monday, April 30, 2018)

·         Council for the Built Environment Act: Council for the Built Environment: Nominations invited (Comment by: Monday, May 7, 2018)

·         Health Professions Act: Rules: Registration by medical practitioners and dentists of additional qualifications: Amendment: Comments invited (Comment by: Wednesday, May 23, 2018)

·         Health Professions Act: Regulations: Registration of forensic pathology officers: Comments invited (Comment by: Friday, June 22, 2018)

·         Tender bulletin 3006 (Comment by: Thursday, September 27, 2018)

SET-related policy news

Medicine and health

·         Government sets new target in fight against TB (SA news – gov.za)

·         Deadly listeria could herald tighter food safety rules in South Africa (polity)

Industry development

·         Government simplifies access to R&D tax incentives (DST)

Africa

·         Evaluating ‘homegrown’ research networks in Africa (SAJS) - research networks on the continent can help strengthen the role of scientific knowledge in policymaking

Agriculture

·         Agriculture defies odds to create jobs in tough climate (SA news – gov.za)

Astronomy

·         The role of the Square Kilometre Array in South Africa’s economic development strategy (SAJS)

·         Space essential for meeting South Africa’s economic and social development goals (Engineering News)

Biodiversity

·         Biodiversity sector must acknowledge traditional knowledge holder (SA news – gov.za)

·         Biodiversity sector commits to transformation (SA news – gov.za)

Environment and climate change

·         Modelling to help cities adapt to rising temperatures (ee publishers) – helping municipalities adapt to climate change and associated rises in temperature

·         Youth urged to participate in wildlife economy (SA news – gov.za)

Energy

·         SALGA calls for financially viable energy solutions plus Energy mix key to combat municipal energy challenge (SA news – gov.za)

·         South African court dismisses bid to block $4.7bn renewable deals (Engineering News)

·         Africa struggles to meet energy demand and reduce carbon emissions (Engineering News)

Water management and drought

·         Drought declared a national disaster (SA news – gov.za)

·         Urgent shift in water management crucial if SDGs are to be met (SA news – gov.za)

·         World Water Development Report 2018 (UN Water)

·         Department of Environmental Affairs launches weather radar (infrastructurene.ws)

 

 

 

·         The Academy of Science of South Africa, the Uganda National Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) are hosting an infectious diseases symposium: Durban, 11-13 April 2018.

·         Seedbeds of Transformation – The Role of Science with Society and the SDGs in Africa: Port Elizabeth, 9-11 May 2018

·         Join the debate on the restructuring of Eskom - Should Eskom be restructured, and if so, how and when? Midrand Johannesburg, 10 May 2018

·         Women in Engineering Convention Catch Up: Johannesburg, 15-16 May 2018

·         A-OSH Expo – Africa's occupational safety & health trade exhibition: Johannesburg, 22-24 May 2018

·         Hortgro Science Technical Symposium 2018 – The Big Thirst: Somerset West, 28 May – 1 June 2018

·         Nuclear Africa 2018 Conference: Johannesburg, 6-8 June 2018

·         7th International Conference on Engineering Mathematics and Physics (annual research conference): Prague, Czech Republic, June 15-18, 2018

·         Manufacturing Indaba: Johannesburg, 19-20 June 2018

·         Africa Energy Forum 2018: Mauritius, 19-22 June 2018

·         SASBMB-FASBMB Conference – South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Potchefstroom, 8-11 July 2018

·         4th Geo Blue Planet Symposium: France, 4-6 July

·         ExtruAfrica 2018 – extrusion, application, education: Potchefstroom, 31 July – 3 August 2018

·         AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy 2018: Trieste Italy, 20-24 August 2018

·         The SA Innovation Summit: Cape Town, 12-14 September 2018

·         SciELO 20 Years Conference: São Paulo, Brazil, 26-28 September 2018 – The event will celebrate 20 years of operation, in full alignment with the advances of open science.

·         6th International Conference on Ethics Education: Stellenbosch, South Africa, 3-5 October 2018 – Call for abstracts with closing date 20 April 2018

·         36th Annual International No-Dig Conference and Exhibition: Cape Town, 8-9 October 2018

·         EduTECH Africa 2018 and EduBUILD Africa 2018: Johannesburg, 9-10 October 2018

·         The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa is calling on all waste management industry bodies to submit their abstracts for WasteCon 2018: Johannesburg, 15-19 October 2018

·         SA Energy Storage 2018: Johannesburg, 22-23 October 2018

·         29th SAIIE annual conference – Steering the 4th Industrial Revolution: Stellenbosch, 24-26 October 2018

·         SciCOM 100* Conference 2018: focused on research in the field of science communication, Stellenbosch University, 6-7 November 2018

·         Science Forum South Africa: South Africa, 5-7 December 2018

 

 

 

·         The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) is the professional body for ICT practitioners in South Africa. It was formerly known as the Computer Society South Africa. It is a professional body, recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and established in 1957. The organisation’s aims are to: further the study, science and application of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs); maintain and promote codes of conduct and ethics; define and promote standards of ICT knowledge; promote formulating effective policies on ICT and related matters; and extend the knowledge and understanding and use of ICTs in the community. Services include an accredited Professional Member programme. On the website, you will find news, information on activities, careers and more.

·         The South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SASBMB) began in 1940. Its aims are to promote: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as discipline in South Africa; scientific exchange between academics and students in the field, and the interests of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as disciplines at national and international levels. The website offers information on its congresses, news, and more.

Engineering

·         Engineers urged to assertively infuse social debates with technical insight (polity)

Education

·         SA certificate evaluation goes digital (ITWeb)

·         Can private sector shake up basic education? (Business Live)

·         ‘The Amazing Coelacanth’ by Mike Bruton – an illustrated children’s book. Out in April 2018.

·         Peter Grist reports from Scifest 2018 – a look into South Africa’s Science Festival Scifest that ran from 7-13 March 2018 in Grahamstown (The Announcer)

 

 

 

Universities

·         University Rankings Under the Spotlight (ASSAf)

·         Four proposals for a more reliable scientific literature (SAJS)

·         Here are five signs that universities are turning into corporations (The Conversation)

·         How class and social capital affect university students (phys.org)

·         UFS acquires clinical research company (Bizcommunity)

·         Open access in South Africa: A coherent strategy is needed (SAJS)

Industry development

·         First biorefinery facility to boost South Africa’s wood and paper sector (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Scientists to turn chicken feathers into socks (Business Day)

Gender

·         Supporting women in science and technology (ee publishers)

Systems analysis

·         New book on systems analysis methodology in addressing complex global challenges (NRF)

Medicine and health

·         Understanding and using tuberculosis data (WHO)

·         NICD confirms five human cases of rabies (SA news – gov.za) plus Explainer: what’s behind the rabies outbreak in South Africa (The Conversation)

·         Malaria cases to increase (SA news – gov.za)

·         Better health services rest on building trust among healthcare workers (The Conversation)

·         Big Tobacco is funding the anti-smoking lobby – but leaked documents reveal the real reason why (The Conversation) plus Global smokers’ study criticised as biased (Business Day)

·         MEC launches HIV prevention pill at University of Limpopo (NGO pulse)

·         What do your period and bananas have in common? Find out (Bhekisisa)

·         UJ researchers discover promising anti-cancer drugs (Engineering News)

·         We’ve come up with a TB test that’s cheaper, quicker and more accurate (The Conversation)

·         Revaccination could prevent TB infection by 45 per cent (SciDevNet)

·         An explanation for the low proportion of tuberculosis that results from transmission between household and known social contacts (Nature)

·         Novel process for a rooibos extract to optimise the healing effect (SAMRC)

·         Study: Immune history effects flu vaccine efficiency (Bizcommunity)

·         Traditional African medicine and conventional drugs: friends or enemies? (The Conversation)

·         One-dose cholera vaccine gives 90 per cent protection (SciDevNet)

·         New clinical skills training centre aims to improve quality and safety (Bizcommunity)

·         60% of adverse drug reactions are caused by herbal medicines (SAMRC)

Palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology

·         How we recreated a lost African city with laser technology (The Conversation)

·         Temporal ranges and ancestry in the hominin fossil record: The case of Australopithecus sediba (SAJS)

·         Plant fossils have a lot to teach us about Earth’s history (The Conversation)

·         Humans thrived in South Africa through the Toba super-volcanic eruption about 74,000 years ago (phys.org)

Geology

·         Five ways to halt 'critical' land decay (phys.org)

·         Super-deep diamond provides first evidence in nature of Earth's fourth most abundant mineral (phys.org)

Astronomy and space science

·         New facility to unlock big data at SKA (ITWeb)

·         A massive telescope for seeing the invisible (phys.org)

·         Scientists keen to use MeerKAT data deluge (Business Day)

·         Eight new 'hot Jupiters' discovered by astronomers (phys.org)

Environment, climate change and energy

Water

·         A delicate balance: water scarcity in South Africa (issafrica.org) - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Water Research Commission launched results of the only publicly available national water forecast for South Africa up to 2035.

·         Cloud-based monitoring of SA’s water resources (ee publishers)

·         Contamination threatens SA’s already dwindling water resources (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Investment needed in strategic water source areas – WWF-SA (polity)

·         Why UNESCO’s ‘nature based solutions’ to water problems won’t work in Africa (The Conversation)

·         Climate migrants will soon shift populations of many countries, says World Bank (phys.org)

·         CSIR’s Smart-Sense technology ready for full licencing (CSIR)

Climate change and environment

·         Commonwealth Academies Release Statement on Climate Change (ASSAf)

·         Warming climate to displace millions in coming decades: World Bank (phys.org)

·         The Global Risks Landscape 2018 (World Economic Forum)

·         Africa’s 20,000 weather station plan (SciDevNet)

·         Climate change risk for half of plant and animal species in biodiversity hotspots (phys.org)

·         Plastic biggest ocean waste offender – Report (infrastructurene.ws)

Energy

Because of the upcoming Discussion Forum on ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ on 16-17 April 2018, we have focused even further on energy.

·         Renewables industry rubbishes Numsa's claims (ITWeb)

·         Eskom celebrates 95 years (ee publishers)

·         Despite severe health impacts, Eskom again seeks to delay compliance with air pollution standards (saNGOnet)

·         Blockchain’s role in an energy revolution (ee publishers)

·         UCT partners with German institute to drive renewables (ITWeb)

·         An overview of the South African energy sector’s standards priorities (ee publishers)

·         Eskom Research Testing and Development wins 2017 Technology Transfer award (Eskom)

·         EIB pumps $25m into off-grid solar project (Engineering News)

·         Igniting Eskom Generation: Turning the deadweight into economic fuel (ee publishers)

·         Energy researchers applaud carbon tax, but call for simplified design (polity)

·         Renewable energy: Friend or foe (ee publishers)

·         Energy-intensive firms say carbon tax wrong tool for reducing power emissions (polity)

·         Why South Africa’s power utility should boost its output of in-house renewables (The Conversation)

·         Eskom establishes large-scale battery test and demonstration facility – in case you missed it (Engineering News)

·         Nuclear build’s contribution to South Africa’s GDP will be “staggering” – Expert (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Civil society takes on new coal plants (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Art project turns plastic into usable gas (ITWeb)

Agriculture

·         Scaling up game-changing agricultural innovations and technologies in Africa (BizCommunity)

·         Biofuel from sugarcane – why is SA not rushing ahead? (Daily Maverick)

·         Data: The fertiliser that will feed Africa's agricultural transformation (BizCommunity)

·         We know how food production needs to change if crisis is to be avoided - so why isn't this happening? (BizCommunity)

·         Herbicide resistance: Agriculture's great headache (BizCommunity)

·         From foe to friend: how carnivores could help farmers (The Conversation)

Ecology

·         We spent nine years tracking South Africa’s white sharks. What we learnt (The Conversation)

·         Measures in place to address Avian Influenza (SA news – gov.za)

·         World's last male northern white rhino dies in Kenya (polity)

·         Hunters should stop using lead bullets and help save the vultures (The Conversation)

·         Interactive, downloadable and 3-D printable scans of newly discovered hermit crabs now available (phys.org)

·         New insights into how southern African pythons look after their babies (The Conversation)

Food security

·         How safe is the food on your plate? (University of Pretoria)

·         Fried termites - rich in protein and vitamins - are the go-to meal for many SA households, a new study shows (Business Insider)

Technology

·         Africa's First 'ATM Pharmacy' Launched In Alex (Huffington Post)

·         Kenya’s HydroIQ wins “Startup of the year Africa 2018” (CNBC Africa)

·         Rapid Developments in Artificial Intelligence – how might the New Zealand government respond? (Victoria University)

·         Fourth industrial revolution – How technology can ensure a bright future for cities (Business Day)

·         Hackathons seek drought-prevention solutions (ITWeb)

·         Innovative app helps users save water (infrastructurene.ws)

Science communication

·         Promoting science, technology through community media (SA news – gov.za)

·         Look out for ‘What a Great Idea! Awesome South African Inventions’ by Prof Mike Bruton (Jacana Media) at leading bookshops. The book has been subsidised by the DST and mentions the NSTF in several places.

Opportunities

·         Call for Applications for the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Regional Fellowships is now open (UNESCO)

·         African Union Research Grants: 2018 - Open Call for Proposal (African Union)

·         Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa – call for pre-proposals on “Pathways towards Sustainable African Urban Development” (International Council for Science)

·         DAAD scholarship 2018-2019 for international students in Germany (postgraduate) (isnpo.org)

·         Call for proposals for SAIS 2 (South African innovation Support) – provides grants to projects that seek to pilot, demonstrate and replicate concepts and prototypes before rolling them out to the market. Closing date 25 April 2018.

·         Call for Nominations Now Open: SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards (SAMRC)

·         Boosting women bio-entrepreneurship (NGO pulse)

 

Stephen Hawking reaches the end of his brief history in time (TechCentral)

 

Please forward this e-mail to your colleagues, business contacts and all interested persons!

Send us your news

The NSTF invites all our members, as well as all SET and innovation role players, to send us information on meetings, conferences and activities of interest to the broader S&T community. Please send us your news by the 20th of the month, for distribution at the beginning of the following month, to enquiries@nstf.co.za
 

Feedback

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter, please e-mail the NSTF Secretariat at enquiries@nstf.co.za 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Disclaimer

The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.

Privacy

Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 

Last updated Wednesday, 11 April 2018 11:10

Now accepting applications for TechWomen 2018

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 13:47

TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State that brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program based in San Francisco. During the five-week program, participants engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

The 2018 program will include 100 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

Applications are due January 17, 2018. We are looking for women who have demonstrated themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen profession, through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education. A full list of the eligibility requirements is available on our website.

You can also check out our Outreach Toolkit with flyers in multiple languages, as well as suggested tweets and social media posts.

Now entering its eighth year, TechWomen continues to be a transformational program for all involved and has inspired women to become active change makers in their communities. We thank you for your support, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Best Regards,

Stacey Chapple

Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

Institute of International Education

530 Bush Street, Suite 1000 • San Francisco, CA 94108

Tel +1.415.362.6520 ext.273

schapple@iie.org • iie.org 

IIE • The Power of International Education

 

Media Release: Evidence for climate change   #Evidence4ClimateChange

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Thursday, 30 November 2017 13:44

Show me the evidence for climate change

Communicating science in a post-truth world

28 December 2017

 

Living in the age of ‘post-truth’ means emotional appeals are more influential than objective facts. Post-truth discourse has become so normalised that Oxford Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be 2016’s international word of the year.

 

 

No doubt it’s positive to embrace different viewpoints. This allows us to engage is an inclusive manner and build common understanding. However, it creates a complex tension when communicating about science. Especially when the terminology of science, engineering, and technology (SET) is not necessarily understood by the public.

How does one show evidence-based facts in a post-truth, fake news, multiple perspective world? If the public is to learn from scientists, the SET community needs to speak more plainly and clearly. 
 
This comes to the fore with climate change. Making the science clear is an ongoing process and those involved continue to learn and drive the messages around climate change. The SET community can learn from the outcomes.

 

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to make connections.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders, including government.

 

 

Prof Robert Scholes explained how the current evidence is positioned in his presentation on ‘Show us the evidence for climate change’ at the NSTF Discussion Forum on 17 November 2017 in Gauteng.
 

Present agreed-upon facts – understanding climate

There is consensus among scientists around general climate dynamics. The climate is a complex system with feedbacks, non-linearity, and inertia.

It has behaviours and variations internal to the system, occurring across different periods of time from days to eons. There are also external forces that are natural in origin (such as small predictable variations in the earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun).
 

 

About Prof Robert Scholes

Prof Scholes is one of the top 1% of environmental scientists globally and recognised as a leading researcher within environmental science, systems ecology, savannah ecology, and global change. He is also one of South Africa’s few National Research Foundation A-rated scientists. In 2015, Prof Scholes received an NSTF-South32 award for his contribution to science over a lifetime.

 

 

Collecting and processing climate data

The ‘rigorous’ records of climate go back to the beginning of the 20th century. This represents tens of thousands of weather stations’ data for land, with equivalent data for oceans (from ship logs).
 
Analysis of this vast data set needs to account for various potential biases, such as uneven spatial representation and changes in instruments. In plain speak, there were cases of lots of data from some areas and less data from other areas. This could create misrepresentation in the outcomes unless robust well-tested methods are used to fill the gaps. Scholes explains that analysis has not been about “taking an average” of all the data over time.
 

Analysis of the data – presenting ‘warming planet’ outcome 

The data analysis showed that warming has been observed nearly everywhere over the 20th century. Rainfall trends are weaker and less consistent because rainfall is inherently a more local phenomenon. (See the Synthesis Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC.)
 

Managing criticism – showing data is robust

The interpretation of the data set came in for a lot of criticism by sceptics in the SET community and vested interest groups, particularly in the USA. Most of the debate was around the processes applied to make the raw data comparable. Had these processes been manipulated to gain a specific result?
 
The critics took the same data and then used different scientific methodologies. Their results were qualitatively the same as the original outcomes, with little varying detail: the world has warmed, virtually everywhere, at an accelerating rate over the period of record. In other words, the conclusions are robust, independent of method. (For further info, see the Hockey Stick Controversy.)
 

Acknowledging uncertainties vs providing facts

Good scientists are careful people. They check and recheck their results, and then let other people check their results. Scientists are obligated to follow rules of evidence, including acknowledging uncertainties. This is often confusing for the layperson as it means a lot of the information comes with ‘ifs and buts’.
 
The IPCC has focused on how to communicate uncertainty in a clear way, using words which are reserved for that purpose only. Scholes says that the IPCC guidelines note that phrases such as ‘with high certainty’ have an exact defined meaning, and accompany all high-level statements.  
 
The public, unused to the concept of scientific uncertainty, can interpret this as the scientists being less confident than they actually are. Or less sure than lay people who never qualify their statements with confidence terms.  Scientists must learn how to deal with this while communicating clearly and accurately. Is it the SET community’s responsibility to explain the scientific process of acknowledging uncertainty? Or does the public need to make more effort to understand the concept?
 

Detection, attribution, and impact – differentiating natural from human causes

Consider that we have a time series of climate observations. The first stage is change detection – is something unusual happening? Has there been a statistically significant change in the system?
 
The next stage is attribution – do we have reasonable statistical confidence that we know why this change has occurred (80-100% certainty)?  Is it accounted for by natural variation, or is there a human-attributable effect as well? Attribution is a more challenging and complex problem because there are usually many causes to any observed effect.
 
Scientists have been able to exclude known causes of climate variation (such as solar and orbital variation, and volcanoes). There is also positive correlation between climate trends with suggested human-induced causes, specifically greenhouse gas concentrations, a necessary but not sufficient condition for establishing the cause.
 
More than 30 groups worldwide have run global climate simulations, providing a reconstruction of what has been observed and an explanation of what has happened. Scholes says they were able to apportion cause to various sources, including anthropogenic (caused by humans) versus natural, and the natural variation only accounts for a small fraction of the total. While there is debate around details, the human influence on climate has been proven.
 
The focus is now on the impact of climate change and what can be done about it. Climate change-related impacts have been detected worldwide in almost every area, from biodiversity and food security to water resources. Attribution specifically to human-caused climate change is work in progress in many cases.
 
A common question is around whether an extreme weather event (like a tornado or tropical storm) can be attributed to climate change. Because climate is the statistical average of weather, Scholes says it’s hard to say any singular event is due to climate change. It needs a sequence of such events to be confidently classed as change. Since extreme events are – by definition – rare, this needs a long record – hundreds of years – to say with high confidence. Currently we don’t have long enough records to make this claim.
 

Is a source trustworthy?

How can the public assess the validity of claims when they receive conflicting information? Scholes sees scientists as brokers in this process. He says it’s about showing people how to separate the legitimate from the misguided, mischievous, and malicious.
 

Following are Scholes’ guiding questions:

·         Does the source of information have qualifications and a track record in the specific field they are commenting on? Several denialists have apparently high credentials or have positions of note but, if you look at their area of research, it isn’t within the debate domain.

·         Do they offer verifiable evidence, or just assertions? Do they publish in peer-reviewed journals? You need to find out if the data is in the public domain and in peer-reviewed journals. Self-references, websites, newspaper articles, and untraceable references are not considered verifiable evidence.

·         Do they repeat long-disproven claims and conspiracy theories? Climate denialists tend to stick to their message regardless of the strength of evidence refuting it.

 
Scholes explained that there is now a move to use ‘deep transdisciplinary’ approaches in order to turn climate concern into action. This sees scientists working with people who have a different epistemology (theory of knowledge or world view). Examples include representatives from various faiths and people involved in indigenous knowledge systems.
 
The idea is that if you want to affect behavioural change, you need to work within the conceptual framework used by the target community. It also recognises that human decisions rest not only on evidence, but also on beliefs and feelings.
 

Taking time and effort to sift through information?

Global warming exists and it’s largely caused by human activities. While these fundamentals have been agreed upon, there is still strong debate among scientists around the details of climate change.
 
There is also lots of ongoing research but this isn’t getting through – across the range of stakeholders including business, civil society, and the public. With the advent of fake news and post-truth, among other things, there is a clear need for people to apply analytical rigour when assessing information. This takes effort and education… so will it actually happen?
 
An option is to look to reputable entities that already do this sifting work. The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988. It provides a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, as evaluated by thousands of specialist scientists drawn from all over the world, and subject to careful and transparent review processes. You can’t ask for much more.

 

 

Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.

Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site (www.nstf.org.za). Please send information and comments to enquiries@nstf.co.za.

 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

Call for nominations now open: NSTF-South32 Awards 2017/2018

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 7 November 2017 11:14

 

 

Call for nominations now open: NSTF-South32 Awards 2017/2018 

Register nominations online - deadline 11 December 2017

 

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) calls for nominations for the 20th prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards in science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation. The NSTF’s theme for 2018 is the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) as declared by the United Nations (UN).

 

 

Register nominations for individuals, teams and organisations for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa. The contributions that are recognised are:

  • Scientific research
  • Capacity building in engineering research
  • Innovation
  • Environmental sustainability and biodiversity
  • Water management solutions
  • Management of SET and innovation
  • Science Communication
  • Technology transfer
  • Education and training
  • Special Annual Theme Award for contributions that promote Sustainable Energy for All
 

 

 

There are major changes to the categories and criteria this year. See below:

Innovation awards: The Innovation Category has greater emphasis on ‘innovation’. The Research for Innovation Awards is now the ‘Awards for Innovations and their research and/or development’.
 
Research categories – no PhD required: All research categories are now open to anyone experienced in research. We have also strengthened the focus on further development of outputs towards innovations. 
 
Suggestions for candidates: An open call to the public for nominations remains the primary process for nominations. However, if someone wants to suggest a person who should be nominated, please email suggestions to enquiries@nstf.co.za by 11 December 2017, with a brief explanation and their details. In this case, please don’t fill in the registration form.
 
Special Annual Theme Award: The NSTF’s special annual theme award this year is for a contribution to SET and innovation towards Sustainable Energy for All. This aligns to the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) declared by the United Nations.  

 

 

A transformed country where SET and innovation contribute to a high quality of life for all who live in South Africa, where the profile of SET professionals is representative of the population’s profile and where the education system is effective, particularly in terms of performance in SET subjects and promoting innovation.

The NSTF Awards are one of the ways in which the NSTF strives to realise its vision.

 

 

This is a two-stage nomination process:
 

Stage 1 – Register a nomination by 11 December 2017

  • Notify the nominee that you intend to nominate and ensure that you receive their agreement to participate.
  • Complete and submit the online registration. You will receive an e-mail notification confirming receipt of your submission and the full nomination form/s as an attachment to complete. Please alert the NSTF Office if you don’t receive this.

 

Stage 2 – Submit completed nomination documents by 2 March 2018

  • Ensure that the completed full Nomination Form/s are e-mailed to the NSTF before the final deadline.
  • Please note that planning and time are required to complete the nomination document. Hence the 12 week period (December to March) provided for preparation.
 

 

Please read ‘contribution’ to mean ‘an outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation’.
 

 1. Awards for individual contributions

 1a. A contribution over a lifetime (15 years or more).

 1b. TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher
 A contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 15 years as a researcher,
 predominantly in South Africa.

 1c. TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging Researcher
 A contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 6 years in research,
 predominantly in South Africa.

 1d. Management Award
 A contribution through management and related SET and innovation activities over the last
 5-10 years.

 2. Engineering Research Capacity Development Awards
 A contribution by an individual over the last 5-10 years.

 3. The NSTF-GreenMatter Award
 A contribution by an individual or an organisation towards achieving biodiversity
 conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy over the last 5-10 years.

 4. NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award
 A contribution by an individual or an organisation to SET in South Africa towards
 sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions over the last 5-10
 years.

 5. Data for Research Award
 An outstanding contribution to SET and innovation, for advancing the availability,
 management and use of data for research.

 6. Innovation Awards

 6a. Award for Innovations and their research and/or development through a
 corporate organisation

 A contribution by an individual or a team through a corporate organisation over the last 5-10
 years.

 6b. Award for Innovations and their research and/or development through an SMME
 A contribution by an individual or a team through a small, medium or micro enterprise
 (SMME) over the last 5-10 years.

 7. Communication for outreach and creating awareness of SET and Innovation
 A contribution by a team or individual over the last 5 years.

 8. Award for a Non-governmental organisation
 A contribution to SET by an NGO including innovation, technology transfer and education
 and training activities over the last 5-10 years.

 9. Special Annual Theme Award (awarded according to criteria in any of the categories)
 For 2017/2018 this award is made for a contribution towards Sustainable Energy for All in
 recognition of the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, as declared by the
 UN.

 

 

   

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Disclaimer

The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.
 

Privacy

Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

NSTF Media Release: Investigating SET's role in the SDGs

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:33

  

Investigating SET’s role in the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030. Research and innovation have a role to play, but where, when and how?

 

First the United Nations organised the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Then came the SDGs, endorsed by South Africa in 2014.

 

 

The SDGs can be grouped into five categories, showing alignment with the National Development Plan (NDP) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

·         People (social development)

·         Prosperity (economic development)

·         Planet (environmental sustainability)

·         Peace (peaceful and inclusive societies)

·         Partnerships (means of implementation)


The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) brought stakeholders together for a ‘Research and innovation to support the SDGs’ Discussion Forum. This was held from 4-5 September 2017 in Gauteng. South Africa will be reporting on SDG progress in 2019 and it’s imperative that the science, engineering and technology (SET) community understands its role.  

 

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to make connections. 

Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders, including government.

This event was conceptualised and planned by the NSTF committee of  Science Councils and Statutory Bodies representatives

 

 


SA baseline measurements: Compared to the MDGs, the SDGs have more goals (from 8 to 17), more indicators/measurements (from 60 to 230), and more targets (from 20 to 169). In his presentation, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla noted that the South African SDG baseline report will be available on Statistics South Africa website on 9 October 2017.
 

 

 

Coordinating role of the Department of Science and Technology (DST): The DST’s Dr Isayvani Naicker says that the DST has a role to play across all the SDGs, particularly around enabling partnerships. This falls in line with the DST mission to develop, coordinate and manage a National System of Innovation. Coordination becomes crucial – What are people doing? Where is the duplication? How can resources be mobilised into the most-needed areas?

SET is seen as enablers for the SDGs: The Presidency is charged with collating and reporting. To reach that point, there is a need for monitoring and evaluation across government departments, business, civil society etc. SET is recognised as an enabler in the successful implementation of the SDGs, and will also help in monitoring and evaluation.

 

Framework around the science agenda
Of particular note is the presentation by Water Research Commission’s CEO Dhesigen Naidoo.

The WRC has taken core SDGs and reconceptualised them into a framework around the science agenda with the aim of creating an inter-related knowledge agenda.
 
Another key point is that not all projects will necessarily fit into the SDGs, nor should the goals be regarded as the ultimate aim – if we want SA to thrive, the SDGs must be exceeded.

Mr Lorenzo Raynard from SKA SA explained that it’s important to evaluate projects against the SDGs but it’s not about ticking boxes. There should be meaningful alignment.

 

 

A Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) has been created. This is a platform for innovators, funders and experts to connect and share relevant information. This includes connecting with complementary initiatives both online and off.  It’s about linking global resources, ease of access, reduced duplication and rapidly deploying the most successful innovations.

Aligned with this, is the South African Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub. It’s in the process of being developed and aims to connect development actors with research and innovations around the SDGs and other African development goals.
 
Moving from the MDGs to the SDGs: According to the UNDP’s Lindiwe Dhlamini in ‘Integrating agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into regional and national development plans and strategies’, there are 3 fundamental differences between the MDGs and the SDGs:

·         The SDGs “include all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental”.

·         “The SDGs are complex and integrated, with the integrated approach implying the need to manage trade-offs and maximise synergies across targets.”

·         “The SDGs should benefit all – eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities. The promotion and use of disaggregated data cannot be emphasised  enough.”

There is a need “to go beyond silos and take an integrated approach to development interventions”. Dhlamini notes that the MDG question focused on which goals lagged and the gaps. The SDGs question is: “What are the actions that will take us forward more quickly across a broader range of interlinked goals?”
 
The importance of partnerships for the goals (SDG 17): The CSIR’s Dr Lorren Haywood explained that SDG 17 is critical for achieving the other SDGs. However, it is often ranked as the lowest priority. She is part of a team conducting research around collaboration. The ultimate aim is to devise a trans-disciplinary evidence-based approach for establishing and implementing partnership relationships.
 
The CSIR’s research to date shows five key clusters of actors needed to achieve the SDGs – United Nations (governance and support from an international perspective), government (enabling and monitoring environment), business (implementation), research and development (knowledge, technologies and innovation), and civil society (advocacy and awareness).
 
Currently there is a lack of partnerships and cooperation between clusters. This is specifically within government (ie between national, provincial and local levels), and between government, the private sector and civil society.
 
Communication, coordination, collaboration and funding are imperative. It’s clear that there needs to be a lot more communication around the SDGs, aligned funding mechanisms, and coordinating activities (from explanations on monitoring and evaluation to reporting frameworks). There also needs to be a great deal more collaboration around common goals. A centralised facilitation agency was proposed.
 
The research institutions play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs and NDP. The state’s budget allocation to such institutions should not continually be cut, but rather increased.
 
Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. The NSTF will be reporting back on the SET community’s engagement with the SDGs. Please send information to enquiries@nstf.org.za


Spokesperson: Ms Jansie Niehaus (Executive Director: NSTF)

 

Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson. 


Tel: +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632/4995
Fax: +27 (0)12 841-3025
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Web site: www.nstf.org.za
 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

Last updated Tuesday, 3 October 2017 14:33

ECSA NOTICE - CPD SCAM

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 14:25

ECSA warns professional registered persons off a company which is sending false information on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training courses. The company is copying CPD training courses from other companies’ brochures and attach it to their emails so that it looks legitimate. ECSA also discovered that this company make people pay for CPD courses which do not exist. See attachment for more information.


Attachments:

ECSA NOTICE - CPD SCAM.pdf 269.5K 25 Mar 15 14:25

ECSA New Registration System

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:38

The development of the New Registration System is in its final stages. Its development, testing, training of users (personnel, volunteers/assessors) and its internal readiness is scheduled to be completed by 29 August 2014. For more information refer to the attachment. 


Attachments:

NRS Website Announcement.docx 605.2K 26 Aug 14 11:38

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