SA joins global project on fourth industrial revolution

May 10th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT

South Africa and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have signed an accord to establish an affiliate centre of the WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre (C4IR). The WEF established the C4IR in San Francisco in the USA in March 2017, as a hub for global, multi-stakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology.

The accord paves the way for South Africa to join China, India and Japan in launching an affiliate centre as the world prepares for the transformation of the fourth industrial revolution, enabled by the convergence of digital, physical and biological technologies which are disrupting existing industries and the production and consumption of goods and services.

Murat Sönmez (Head of the WEF's C4IR Network) and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane (Minister of Science and Technology) signing the accord.

Murat Sönmez (Head of the WEF’s C4IR Network) and Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane (Minister of Science and Technology) signing the accord.

Affiliate centres focus on issues of local concern, but also contribute to the overall research and processes of the C4IR Network. Work is under way to expand the C4IR Network with affiliate centres in several other jurisdictions.

The South African government, through the Department of Science and Technology, intends to establish its affiliate centre as a public-private partnership based at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). South Africa will launch its affiliate centre during the WEF Africa meeting in Cape Town in September 2019.

The WEF has seven prescribed focal areas, including the Internet of Things, precision medicine, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, but the selected pilot projects should be focused on South African and African priorities.

Contact Veronica Mohapeloa, DST, veronica.mohapeloa@dst.gov.za

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