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The United Nations (UN) proclaimed 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.The UN recognises the importance of raising global awareness around chemistry. This includes chemistry’s role in solving global challenges within the energy, agriculture, health and other critical sectors.
Event objective: This discussion forum will consider issues around the periodic table. However, because of the wealth of possible topics, the NSTF Discussion Forum focuses on two specific topics related to chemistry and the periodic table.
Day 1 (18 March 2019)
Rare elements for new technologies
South Africa faces the demise of mining as a sustainable economic sector. This is for various reasons, including the impact on the environment and the advent of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies. Job losses are a critical issue. At the same time, there is a scramble to catch up with 4IR opportunities. South Africa is blessed with substantial mineral resources. The national aim is that there is beneficiation with these resources and not just exporting raw materials to other countries. Creating products and industrialisation are the key to our economic future. Technology hardware contains a variety of metals. It’s anticipated that these metals will become increasingly hard to access.
This topic looks at rare earth elements and their use in ICT hardware. Discussions will centre around:
· What elements might be in demand now and in the future for use in 4IR technologies?
· Does South Africa have significant deposits of such minerals? Is it feasible to extract these minerals?
· Understanding legislation and policy around this.
Day 2 (19 March 2019)
Managing elements for nutrition and safety
There are urgent issues that lie at the foundation of creating a better future for South Africa. Prominent among them is food security. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)of the UN, food security is not only about the quantity of food but whether people are getting the required nutrition. Much is known about the essential minerals needed. However, there is also a lot of public confusion.
The topic looks at elements essential for human health (beneficial and harmful amounts), as well as harmful elements. Discussions will centre around:
· What are the issues related to essential minerals in human nutrition? Where and how do people in South Africa suffer nutritional deficiency? What will remedy these problems?
· What are the issues related to safety of certain elements?
· Understanding legislation and policy around this.
Envisaged outcomes: To collate feedback and send recommendations to the relevant government departments, policy makers and research institutions.
Outputs: As is usual for NSTF Discussion Forums, the following outputs will be produced and made available on the NSTF website: proceedings; summary and recommendations; media release; speakers’ PowerPoint presentations; video clips of presentations; photos; concept document, and reading list.
About the NSTF: The NSTF is the stakeholder forum representing the SET and innovation community in South Africa. The membership ranges from research institutions, universities and state entities to business, as well as professional societies (proSET) and civil society. The NSTF engages with policy issues across various government departments and promotes collaboration and critical thinking among the broad range of stakeholders. NSTF Discussion Forums gather stakeholders together, across the public and private sectors, to put forward recommendations to influence government policies.
Delegate registration information
Date: 18-19 March 2019
Time: 08:30 for 09:00 to 16:30
Venue: Emperors Palace Convention Centre, Lucretia room, 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park, Gauteng (next to OR Tambo International Airport)
Programme: Day 1 (18 March 2019): Rare elements for new technologies, Day 2 (19 March 2019): Managing elements for nutrition and safety, and Day 1 and Day 2 (18-19 March 2019): Chemical elements for South Africa's future
Registration for both days: RSVP your attendance online by no later than 14 March 2019. Note there are three registration forms for this purpose – Day 1 / Day 2 / both days. Please only select one option to register.
This is a FREE event for all employees of
NSTF Member Organisations
Please join us for lunch and use the opportunity for further discussion and networking.
Non-Member Organisations of the NSTF:
Attendance is open for anyone interested but non-members of the NSTF are charged a R2,000.00 (excluding VAT) registration fee which includes attendance, documentation relating to the event, conference stationery, refreshments and lunch.
***Non-members of the NSTF – Please note, your registration fee for this Discussion Forum contributes directly to the mission of the NSTF as a non-profit company, as a consultative forum and watchdog for influencing the formulation and delivery of SET and innovation public policy in South Africa. Furthermore, the NSTF:
· Provides information
· Promotes SET and innovation
· Hosts platforms for networking and debate on current SET issues
· Engages with government on SET-related policy
Please note that if you do not RSVP, the NSTF cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen changes or cancellations of programmes. Communications are sent only via e-mail or through notifications on the NSTF website.