A group of CSIR Meraka Institute staff members braved the icy northern winter weather in December 2010 to attend the 2010 Euro-Africa Week on ICT Research and e-Infrastructures held in Helsinki, Finland. The CSIR group was part of 325 participants from 55 different countries in Europe and Africa.
The week was organised by the FP7 EuroAfrica-ICT and the ei-Africa EU-funded projects with the assistance of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. As CSIR Meraka Institute is a member of EuroAfrica-ICT consortium, Tshepang Mosiea was involved with the other partners to ensure that the event was a success.
This was no mean feat as this was in fact a week-long series of events (3rd Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research, the 2010 Euro-Africa e-Infrastructures Conference and lab visits) held at the Scandic Marina Congress Centre. This series was held under the aegis of the European Commission (DG INFSO: International Relations Unit + GÉANT and e-Infrastructures Unit) and the African Union Commission with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland.
CSIR Meraka Institute staff participated in both main events. The 3rd Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research was aimed at discussions and debates, networking opportunities and knowledge-sharing among key stakeholders and policy-makers in the field. Laurens Cloete (acting Executive Director) gave a talk on Generating societal benefit from earth observation data and remote sensing – South African experiences; he also chaired a panel on Local innovation and technology transfer. He was joined by Karel Matthee research group leader: Trusted Network Infrastructures & Platforms) who presented on Extending the reach of Next Generation Networks through Community Wireless Mesh Networks; Tshepang Mosiea (senior project manager) chaired a session and presented on the Identification of joint ICT research priorities between Europe and Africa; and Adele Botha (senior researcher: Mobile Technologies Research Group) co-chaired a session on mBanking.
At the 2010 Euro-Africa e-Infrastructures Conference – the first of its kind aimed at finding ways to address inadequate e-infrastructure in Africa in the context of increasing S&T cooperation between Europe and Africa – Prof. Colin Wright (acting manager: cyberinfrastructure group) chaired the opening session on setting the scene and presented on Sharing the best computational resources – a South African perspective. He was joined at the event by Christiaan Kuun, project manager of the South African National Research Network initiative, which is funded by die Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the CSIR.
Also on the itinerary of Cloete’s Nordic visit was a meeting with Dr Erkki Ormala, Vice President: Technology Policy, Nokia Corporation and Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President: Government Relations and Business Environment, Nokia Middle East and Africa, together with Takalani Nemaungani of the DST. Cloete and Botha spent some time at the Demola mobile lab in Tampere.
News contributed by Biffy Van Rooyen, CSIR Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations
08 February 2011