CSIR sets its focus on public-private sector collaboration

May 29th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is working closely with private sector and innovation partners in developing and localising technologies to support the advancement of industries in South Africa.

The organisation has recently finalised its new strategy, which aims to leverage its strong science, engineering and technology capabilities to respond to industrial development opportunities and create a more balanced portfolio of scientific and industrial development work, as required by its mandate. The strategy is built around the vision of accelerating socioeconomic prosperity in South Africa through leading innovation. To achieve this, the organisation will leverage emerging technologies, especially those rooted in the fourth industrial revolution, as well as its current capabilities and those of its partners.

Prof. Thokozani Majozi (Chairperson of the CSIR Board) and Dr Thulani Dlamini (CSIR CEO) at the announcment of the organisation's new strategy.

Prof. Thokozani Majozi (Chairperson of the CSIR Board) and Dr Thulani Dlamini (CSIR CEO) at the announcment of the organisation’s new strategy.

The CSIR identified it as important to respond to the needs of the private sector, in the hopes that collaboration would strengthen industrial development and create jobs in the country.

In 2017, the CSIR embarked on a process to amplify its focus on industry to broaden the scope of growth opportunities for the organisation by deepening its relationships with industry in a manner that fosters industrial development. The strategy provides a clear direction on how the CSIR innovates and localises technologies in collaboration with others, while providing knowledge solutions for the inclusive and sustainable advancement of industry, as well as the broader society.

Rolling out this strategy will create a balance between the support it provides to the public sector and government and its contribution to industrial development. The strategy is centred on nine clusters to address national priorities, including public good science, potential for socioeconomic impact and the fourth industrial revolution. The clusters are:

  • NextGen Health: focusing on driving a local health care industry;
  • Advanced Agriculture and Food: strengthening the agricultural industry and associated agro-processing value chains through advanced technology and predictive science-based tools;
  • Future Production: Chemicals, improving the competitiveness of chemical industries through innovation in biochemical conversion, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials;
  • Future Production: Manufacturing, facilitating supply chain integration and improving production processes by leveraging technological advances and supporting Industry 4.0 readiness;
  • Future Production: Mining, supporting the growth and revitalisation of the mining industry through innovation for process, equipment and health and safety;
  • Defence and Security, strengthening capabilities in defence, civil security and cybersecurity through advanced technologies;
  • Smart Places, achieving smarter resource use (energy, water, climate change and environment), infrastructure and service developments through transformative technologies;
  • NextGen Enterprises and Institutions, transitioning South Africa’s private and public sectors into a digitalised era; and
  • Smart Logistics, enhancing the efficiency and safety of transport and logistics infrastructure and operations in support of a competitive economy.

Contact David Mandaha, CSIR, dmandaha@csir.co.za

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