CSIR/State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Cooperation Meeting delegates tour the CSIR Meraka Institute facilities
CSIR/State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Cooperation Meeting delegates received a unique opportunity to tour the CSIR Meraka Institute facilities in early July 2012. CSIR colleagues from Defence Peace, Safety and Security, Modelling Digital Science also joined the tour.
Delegates interacted with work that is being done in the provinces as well as municipalities. The three areas the delegates visited were: Human Languages specifically the Lwazi Project that involves the further development of various basic speech technologies for South Africa’s 11 official languages with the aim to increase and expand the impact of Human Language Technologies in local communities; the School Connectivity Project; and Digital Door Way, which is a robust multi-terminal computer that is used for peer-assisted self-learning.
SITA Government Solutions and Standards Executive, Nagalin Tuganadar, acknowledged the fact that there is a history behind the CSIR/SITA relationship and that the pace in the relationship was impacted by the SITA turnaround strategy at the CSIR/SITA Cooperation Meeting held on 25 July 2012.
Tuganadar assured delegates that SITA was ready to move ahead and was particularly interested in ensuring that the provinces derive benefit from the collaboration with the CSIR, because SITA’s mission is to leverage ICT as a strategic resource to enable government to improve service delivery and to meet the challenges faced by a developmental state.
CSIR Strategic Alliances and Communication Group Executive, Dr Rachel Chikwamba, expressed her pleasure at the fact that the CSIR and SITA talks were moving forward. Berenice Lue Marais – from the CSIR Strategic Alliances Office – hosted the event at the CSIR Meraka Institute and summarised the areas of cooperation that were under discussion:
- Ensuring better schools connectivity by using mobile technology.
- Fibre to ensure that the backbone to further education and training to South African National Research Network (SANReN) is high speed, low cost network for academic institutions;
- Network Monitoring and Simulation;
- Human Language Technologies possibly including call centres, social services, eLearning;
- Mobile Technologies;
- Smart ID.
News contributed by Mapulane Mokhoantle, CSIR Strategic Communication
22 August 2012