The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that it has exceeded most of its targets and has achieved a solid overall performance for its 2009/10 financial year.
Commenting on its financial targets, CSIR President and CEO, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, says that the CSIR has delivered outstanding financial results in terms of total turnover compared to the previous year, this despite an economic downturn.
"Financially, we exceeded our targets for total turnover, net profit and the value of contract research and development (R&D) during the past year. We have also maintained an unqualified audit," says Dr Sibisi.
The statements of comprehensive income for 2009/10 shows the total operating income of the CSIR increased by 14.1% to an amount of R1 680 million (2008/09: R1 472.3 million). The CSIR Group's total operating income amounted to R1 697.5 million (2008/09: R1 492.7 million), an increase by 13.7 %. The net profit for the CSIR was R52.4 million and the CSIR Group's net profit amounted to R57.6 million.
Excellent results were also achieved in other organisational priorities. These focused on highly-skilled people - building and transforming human capital; strengthening science, engineering and technology; transferring technology; and ensuring that the expertise and skills generated and honed at the CSIR add value to South Africa.
Some of the highlights of this period include:
- The science, engineering and technology base comprises 64.8% of total staff, moving from 59% in 2005/06, and includes 757 Master's and doctorates, up from 550 in 2005/06
- The number of studentships supported is 232, moving from 66 in 2006/07. Number of interns is 141, up from 59 in 2005/06. The target of 116 bursars was exceeded with a total number of 192 bursars supported, compared to 26 in 2005/06
- Publication equivalents achieved are up by 11.2% from 2008/09. The value of collaborative R&D activities with a value exceeding R1.5 million amounts to R268.8 million
- The value of royalty income (R10.5 million earned in 2009/10) is about 1% of the turnover, above the comparative performances by similar organisations of 0.5%. Thirteen new international patents were granted and 38 inventions disclosed.
The CSIR has also done well in terms of technology transfer, which has resulted in an increase in licensing agreements and a continued stream of royalty income across the broad portfolio of work undertaken by the CSIR.
This year's results are testimony that the institution has again exceeded most of its target to respond to the country's needs without losing sight of its mandate of making a positive difference in people's lives through industrial and scientific development.
Although not mandated to play a service delivery role, Dr Sibisi says the CSIR can - through relevant and innovative R&D - enable and assist the appropriate service delivery agents with their task.
"We have started a special initiative that focuses on the transfer of CSIR-developed technologies and solutions to improve service delivery, with implementation through the appropriate government line departments. We strongly promote science and technology as enablers for improvement in our society and economy," says Dr Sibisi.
Impact is at the core of the CSIR's mandate. In improving its research focus and ensuring that it achieves maximum impact in industry and society, the organisation has identified six research impact areas:
- Health - with the aim of improving health care delivery and addressing the burden of disease.
- Natural Environment - with an emphasis on protecting our environment and natural resources.
- Energy - with the focus on alternative and renewable energy.
- Built Environment - with a focus on improved infrastructure and creation of sustainable human settlements.
- Defence and security - contributing to national efforts to build a safer country.
- Industry - in support of an efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure.
An international review conducted during this financial year endorsed the organisation's commitment to human capital development; the strengthening of the science base; and its good business practices.
"Closer alignment of CSIR expertise to issues of current and future national importance bodes well for the country as whole," concludes Dr Sibisi.
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