Laurens Cloete Executive Director: CSIR Meraka Institute
Laurens Cloete has been appointed Executive Director: CSIR Meraka Institute, the CSIR’s information and communications technology (ICT) research and development unit.
Cloete has a strong track record in ICT research, development and innovation at the CSIR and has been involved in a number of national strategic processes. He played a significant role in the development of the ICT R&D and Innovation Strategy of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The DST and the CSIR are currently finalising an ICT R&D and Innovation Implementation Roadmap aimed at increasing public and private sector investment in ICT R&D and coordinating the relevant role-players’ efforts.
Under his leadership, the CSIR Meraka Institute was selected to host the Southern African laboratory of the African Regional Mobile Application Laboratory with other South African stakeholders.
Cloete joined the CSIR as a bursar in 1991 in the then division for microelectronics and communication technology and was awarded two patents relating to radio frequency (RF) identification (RFID) systems. He moved through the ranks to become first a project manager, later a programme manager and was then appointed acting Executive Director of the CSIR Meraka Institute in 2010.
He holds a Master’s degree in electronic engineering (microelectronics) from the University of Pretoria. He serves on a number of boards and advisory structures, including the board of the SoftStartBTI incubator and the University of Pretoria Department of Computer Science advisory panel.