12 Days capture breadth of United Kingdom-South Africa Science


PRETORIA, South Africa, February 27, 2018-Mareeg.com-From 26 February to 16 March, a number of sponsored activities will take place in South Africa and the UK which demonstrate the breadth of the UK-South Africa science partnership.

In the week of 26 February, the British High Commission in South Africa will sponsor an agritech mission to the UK to strengthen SA links with leading UK institutions, focusing on genomic research to increase crop yield.

This will be followed by an inward visit to South Africa by the Energy Systems Catapult for discussions around smart grid technology, a workshop run by Universities UK International and Universities SA/NRF to explore opportunities for Doctoral Training collaboration and a scoping mission to South Africa to identify opportunities for supporting innovation in South Africa and links with the UK’s innovation environment.

From 1-3 March, a Bio-Carbon workshop in Nairobi will bring together scientists from South Africa, Kenya and the UK.

In support of South Africa’s focus on the oceans economy, a visit is planned to some of the UK’s centres of excellence interested in working with South Africa in this area to explore opportunities.

Finally, the Newton Programme Task Force will meet in London to set the direction for the next few years of bilateral collaboration. Under the programme, which started in 2014, the South African Department of Science and Technology and UK Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, agreed to jointly fund projects around human capital development, bilateral research programmes and activities supporting innovation and commercialisation. The programme has grown vastly since its inception and in 2018/19 the UK will commit over £7 million (R122 m) to it.

Nigel Casey, British High Commissioner to South Africa said: “Science, Technology and Innovation co-operation has become a really exciting and dynamic part of the UK-South Africa partnership. I want to see that strengthen further, as we work together to build capacity and develop research excellence to address local and global challenges and prepare our economies for the future”.

The importance of collaboration was also confirmed by Minister Naledi Pandor at the end of the 2017 Science Forum when she said that international collaboration is imperative for the advancement of not only African but global science and that she is keen to strengthen further links with South Africa for mutual benefit as we prepare for the future.

Notes for Editors:

The Agritech visit will take place from 26 February to 2 March, and will include visits to James Hutton Institute in Scotland, the John Innes Centre, University of Bristol, the Agri-Epicentre at Cranfield University, Rothamstead, National Institute of Agricultural Botany and government representatives;
Energy Systems Catapult is an expert, independent authority working with researchers, industry and government to clear the barriers blocking innovators from bringing new products, services and business models to market. Their reps will be in country from 5-9 March
UUKI is the international arm of Universities UK, representing UK universities and acting​ in their collective interests​ globally​. Together with USAf they are exploring options for providing supporting SA to increase the number of doctoral students through remote supervision and DTC collaboration. The workshop runs from 7-9 March
Matters Innovation will be conducting a scoping mission around support for SA innovation environment through support from InnovateUK – they will be in SA from 2-7 March.
The Nairobi Bio-Carbon workshop will take place from 1-3 March, with the High Commissions in Kenya and SA sponsoring scientists from UK, Kenya and 5 from South Africa.
Oceans visit to the UK from 12-13 March for discussions on SA interest will include UK Hydrographic Office, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science , National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, NERC
The Newton Task Force brings together government (BEIS and DST) together with the delivery partners to agree and map out strategic partnership and develop joint programmes over the next 2-3 years. This will include government, NRF, MRC, TIA.

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