Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa
The CSIR assumed its role as host of South Africa’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR South Africa) in 2021. The centre is a multi-stakeholder hub that works with its business partners to develop internal tools and governance frameworks for their innovations and influence regulatory policy; and with government and its entities to develop policy frameworks and governance protocols to create an environment that opens the doors to new economic opportunities and accelerates the development and adoption of disruptive technologies.
C4IR South Africa is an initiative of the South African government, acting through the Department of Science and Innovation. The CSIR entered into a collaboration and affiliation agreement with the World Economic Forum (WEF) that enabled the centre to join a global network of the centres for 4IR (C4IR Network). The C4IR Network facilitate sharing of global insights and best practices in technology governance among members.
The purpose of the centre is to:
- Create a collaborative platform for its business partners to work with government and academia to co-design, prototype, test and refine various enablers for the adoption of 4IR technologies;
- Build a national capability in technology governance with a focus accelerating the adoption of converging and transformative technologies’ effective regulation in the 4IR era;
- Showcase inclusive digital transformation though provision assistance and advice to small, medium and micro enterprises on their digital transformation, and act as a platform to facilitate experimentation with processes and technologies to inform manufacturing strategies and business models; and
- Catalyse industry transformation though its business and government fellowships that provide learning opportunities for employees, clients and the general public.
The focus areas of the centre are in strategic use of data to:
- Boost Industry 4.0 in South Africa and the implementation of emerging technologies in industrial production and supply chains, aiming at the sustainable industrial development of South Africa, the region and the continent; and
- Transition South Africa towards a data-based digital economy to improve its competitiveness and become a relevant global player, as well as to accelerate digitalisation of government.
Through a series of engagements, the centre is working with government departments, industry associations and potential business partners to establish projects to pilot new governance frameworks that will speed up South Africa’s adoption of new technology applications. It has conducted a workshop to identify key data policy issues within the South African context, and is developing a project to develop a data policy framework to support African Continental Free Trade Area. Additional projects are being developed in the following technology platforms:
- Internet of Things and urban transformation;
- Blockchain and digital assets; and
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
For enquires: SAC4IR@csir.co.za
Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapanntlatlapa@csir.co.za