CSIR 7th Biennial Conference 2020

7th CSIR Biennial Conference talks, interviews and virtual tours

To celebrate its 75-year contribution to research, development and innovation in South Africa, the CSIR hosted its 7th Biennial Conference, virtually, on 11 and 12 November 2020, under the theme, “Touching lives through innovation”. The CSIR brought a range of online talks, interviews, virtual tours and articles on: how the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project shows local impact and reaps international acclaim; a homegrown compound to boost local cosmetic and personal care industry; and protecting and benefiting from indigenous knowledge.

The conference programme has been designed around nine topics, namely chemicals, health, advanced agriculture and food, manufacturing, mining, defence and security, smart mobility, smart places and next-gen enterprises and institutions. Some special interest sessions were also scheduled.

Virtual tours

 11 - 12 NOVEMBER 2020                             DAY 1 (II November 2020)                                                    DAY 2 (12 November 2020)  
CLUSTER        SESSIONS                        SESSIONS              VIRTUAL TOURS

 - Welcome remarks, Dr Thulani Dlamini, CSIR Chief Executive Officer

 - Remarks, Prof Thokozani Majozi, Chairperson of the CSIR Board

 - Keynote address, Mr Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation















 - The landscape and best practices in data policy to unlock fourth industrial revolution opportunities for socio-economic development in South Africa

Co-hosted by Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, Executive Manager: CSIR NextGen Enterprises and Institutions and Ms Khungeka Njobe, CSIR Group Executive: Business Excellence and Integration


 - Celebrating 75 years of the United Nations: Reviewing 25 years of the United Nations Development Programme in South Africa

Science Communication

 - Demolishing science communication barriers for the benefit of society

Facilitator: Robert Inglis, Research Communication Specialist, Founder and Director of Jive Media






 - The CSIR Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory

The CSIR Coastal and Hydraulics laboratory is used to test, validate and optimise the designs of proposed or current marine infrastructure such as ports, tidal pools, jetties, revetments and breakwaters.















 - The fourth industrial revolution and industrialisation opportunities for South Africa’s economic recovery

Ms Fifi Peters, CNBC anchor (Host)

 - Feeding Africa: Innovation strategies to address Africa’s food security challenges and lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

Mr Lee Naik, Chief Executive Officer, TransUnion Africa; Ms Mamello Matikinca-Ngwenya, Chief economist, FNB South Africa; Dr Thulani Dlamini, CSIR Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mauricio ZuaZua, Partner and Board Member, Kearney; Mr Siya Madyibi, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs Director, Microsoft

 - Building back better – SMMEs as drivers of South Africa’s  economic recovery

Hosted by Lara Kotzé-Jacobs, Manager: Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre, CSIR; Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Naspers Chief Executive Officer; Yanesh Naidoo, Sales and Design Director, Jendamark Automation; Advocate Pieter Holl, Chief Executive Officer: The Innovation Hub; Sipho Mbhokota, CSIR Executive Manager: CSIR Defence and Security



 - The CSIR Advanced Design and Manufacturing Innovation Centre

The CSIR Advanced Design and Manufacturing Innovation Centre (ADMIC) provides ongoing research into new manufacturing techniques, technologies and materials, as well as specialised design and manufacturing training for local and international industries.




 - Keeping food safe from farm to fork: The science and technology contribution to Food 4.0

Dr Dharmarai Naicker, CSIR Competence Area Manager: Agroprocessing and Food (Host)

 - Smart agriculture for improved productivity and profitability

Prof. Moses Cho, CSIR Research Group Leader: Precision Agriculture (Host)

 - Integrating climate-smart crops into global value chains to address food security in Africa

Dr Ereck Chakauya, Network Manager: AUDA-Nepad SANBIO (Host)









 - Cannabis: Opportunities for research, product development and job creation

Dr Blessed Okole, CSIR Research Group Leader: Agro-processing; Dr Hlupheka Chabalala, National Director of the Indigenous Knowledge-Based Technology Innovation Unit of the Department of Science and Innovation; Cian McClelland, Chief Executive Officer of Druids Garden; Prof. Motlalepula G Matsabisa, Professor of Pharmacology and Director: Research and Teaching, Department of Pharmacology, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Free-State; Vukile Nkabinde, Director: National Small Enterprise Development Masterplan, Department of Small Business Development; Ms Daphney Mokgadi Fafudi, Medicine Control Officer, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority; Mr Thabo Ramashala, Director: Plant Production, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

 - Industrialisation of medicinal cannabis

Dr Blessed Okole, CSIR Research Group Leader: Agro-processing (Host), Prof David Katerere, Professor of Pharmaceutical Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Andy Radford, Managing Director, Mandela Bay Composites Cluster



 - The CSIR Mining and Engineering Testing Facilities

The CSIR Mining and Engineering Testing Facilities serve the South African mining industry with testing and product development in pursuit of the Zero Harm goal of the industry.














  - The significance of biocatalysis in the fourth industrial revolution

Dr Tsepo Tsekoa, CSIR Principal Researcher and Research Group Leader: Biomanufacturing Technology Demonstration

- Biopharmaceuticals: Global partnerships, localisation and  technology convergence

Dr Tsepo Tsekoa, CSIR principal researcher in conversation with Prof Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman and CEO of NantWorks Prof Shiong is a South African born surgeon living in the USA

 - Nanomedicines for Covid-19

Tshepo Nkuna, CSIR Researcher

 - The role of disruptive technologies in building a bio-based economy

Hosted by Dr Ghaneshree Moonsamy, CSIR Senior Researcher









 - Biopharmaceuticals: Global partnerships, localisation and technology convergence

Dr Tsepo Tsekoa, CSIR principal researcher in conversation with Prof Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman and CEO of NantWorks

 - Creating a smart, sustainable and circular plastics economy in South Africa – What will it take?

Dr Vincent Ojijo, CSIR Research Group leader: Advanced Polymers and Composites (Host)

 - Polymer-based functional materials for growth sectors: Current and future challenges

Prof Suprakas Sinha Ray, Manager, Centre for Nanostructures and Advanced Materials, DSI-CSIR Nanotechnology Innovation Centre in conversation with Dr Virendra Kumar Gupta Head,  Research and Development Polymer and Senior Vice President, Reliance Industries Limited, India

 - Renewable polymers and renewable chemistry: and industry perspective

Dr Jan van de Loosdrecht, Executive Manager: CSIR Future Production: Chemicals, in conversation with Prof Dr Gert-Jan Gruter, Chief Technology Officer, Avantium, and Professor of Industrial Sustainable Chemistry, University of Amsterdam

 - Graphene: The wonder material that could revolutionise advanced manufacturing

An interview with Mr Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive Officer, Versarien


 - The CSIR Nanomaterial Industrial Development Facility

The CSIR Nanomaterial Industrial Development Facility (NIDF) bridges the gap from laboratory studies on nanomaterials, to producing nanomaterials at an industrial scale.



















 - Information and cyber security in the new normal

Dr Jabu Mtsweni, Manager: CSIR Information and Cyber Security Centre (Host)

- Biometrics from cradle to grave

Co-hosted by Yaseen Moolla, CSIR Senior Researcher and Norman Nelufule, CSIR Researcher

 - A technological solution for cyber security in South Africa: Lost Packet Warehousing Service

Co-hosted by Dr Noluntu Mpekoa, CSIR Research Group Leader, CSIR Information and Cyber Security Centre and Dr Heloise Meyer: CSIR Senior Researcher

 - Sustainable integrated security for the protection of complex operations

Dr Duarte Goncalves, CSIR Principal Engineer (Host)

 - Developing a South African hydrogen fuel cell powered unmanned aerial vehicles

Hosted by Erik Wegman, CSIR Senior Engineer

 - Autonomous vehicles in the South African context

Hosted by Dr Dithoto Modungwa, CSIR Research Group Leader: Tactical Mobility


 - The CSIR Additive Manufacturing Facilities

The CSIR Additive Manufacturing Facilities drive the fourth industrial revolution through research and development into high-speed three-dimensional printing.






- Digital precision medicine: How to use advanced genomic knowledge to ensure impact

Hosted by Dr Janine Scholefield, CSIR Research Group Leader: Bioengineering and Integrated Genomics

 - Precision Medicine - Making macrophages in a dish: Modelling the African response to immunity

Hosted by Dr Dimakatso Gumede, CSIR Senior Researcher

 - Precision medicine - Proteomics in health and disease: Opportunities and challenges from a South African perspective

Dr Stoyan Stoychev, CSIR Senior Researcher and Head of Proteomics at ReSyn Biosciences

 - Precision medicine: Drug repurposing for cancer precision medicine

Dr Deepak Balaji Thimiri Govindaraj, Centre Manager, CSIR Synthetic Biology and Precision Medicine Centre

 - Microarray technology based multiplex point-of-care diagnostic

Hosted by Bridgett Malatji, CSIR Laboratory Technologist




 - The CSIR Microbiome Mapping Initiative: Establishing an African baseline of gut health

An interview with Dr Jerolen Naidoo, CSIR Senior Researcher

 - Veterinary molecular diagnostics and vaccines – Novel technologies for molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases

Hosted by Dr Essa Suleman, CSIR (Acting) Research Group Leader: Veterinary Molecular Diagnostics and Vaccines

 - Biological disaster management post Covid-19: The Tokabio perspective

Dr Phiyani Lebea, Managing Director: Tokabio (Pty) Ltd

 - Diagnostics – Lessons from Covid-19 testing

Phumelele Ramphoma, Laboratory Manager: Covid-19 Diagnostic Laboratory







 - The CSIR Investment Casting Facility

The CSIR Investment Casting Facility is an industrial-scale casting research facility that provides a competitive service to industry to support and expand the technology base with the latest practices and novel alloy systems.
















 - 4IR factory of the future: case study on how digital transformation accelerated time to market in the production of ventilators

Martin Sanne, Executive Manager: CSIR Future Production: Manufacturing (Host)

 - Learning factory: Growing into digital transformation for 4IR

Shaniel Davrajh, CSIR Principal Engineer

 - Production of metal sheets by direct powder rolling

Dr Silethelwe Chikosha, CSIR Senior Researcher

 - Research and development of high-temperature materials for jet engines

Prof Sisa Pityana, CSIR Principal Researcher and Dr Monnamme Tlotleng, CSIR Principal Researcher

 - Innovative underwater imaging solutions

Josiah Jideani, CSIR Senior Engineer

 - Industrialisation of additive manufacturing towards the revival of the SA manufacturing industry

Dr Ntombi Mathe, CSIR Senior Researcher (Host)

 - Design for additive manufacturing: Reaching further

Duwan Bester, CSIR Senior Engineer

 - Structuring light to enhance laser-based applications

Dr Darryl Naidoo, CSIR Principal Researcher and Dr Angela Dudley, Wits University Senior Lecturer






 - The National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System

The National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System (NICIS) is South Africa’s facility for computation, high-speed networks, research data repository and analytics.











 - Improving the longevity of mines through modernisation

Hosted by Fatheela Brovko, CSIR Impact Area Manager: Mining and Mineral Resources

 - Re-imagining mining and the role of research and innovation in the journey

Hosted by Bongi Ntsoelengoe, Executive Manager: CSIR Future Production: Mining

 - In pursuit of zero harm: Technology as a tool in support of mining’s zero harm objective

An interview with Riaan Bergh, CSIR Impact Area Manager: Mining Testing and Training

 - Supporting health, safety and optimal extraction through the use of a geophysical toolbox approach

Hosted by Dr Michael van Schoor, CSIR Principal Researcher




 - Re-imagining mining and the role of research and innovation in the journey

Bongi Ntsoelengoe, Executive Manager: CSIR Future Production: Mining (Host

 - Launch of the Technology Availability and Readiness Atlas (TARA) - Mining and Mining Precinct

Hosted by: Johan Le Roux, Acting Director: Mandela Mining Precinct, CSIR










 - The CSIR Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre

The CSIR Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) is used to translate biotechnology-based concepts throughout the value chain from laboratory-scale concept validation to demonstration of technology, prototyping and pilot manufacture.













 - Re-imagining the ICT regulatory landscape in the fourth industrial revolution era – a conversation with regulators

Hosted by Dr Ntsibane Ntlatlapa, CSIR Impact Area Manager: Networked Systems and Applications

 - Distributed Ledger Technologies – What are they and who is using them?

Hosted by Dr Neil Croft, CSIR Researcher; Mr Rohit Tripathy, Founder, RanchiMall; Mr Joseph Fiscella, Chief Technology Officer, lead developer @ FLO and FTO @ NFT protocol; Mr Chris Becker, Blockchain lead, Investec bank Acknowledged: Mr Denys Tun, Chief Technology Officer and lead developer, OpenDax

 - Television Whitespace enabling rural and utility connectivity with CSIR geo-location spectrum database technology

Co-hosted by Dr Albert Lysko, CSIR Principal Researcher and Dr Luzango Mfupe, CSIR Principal Researcher

 - Resource allocation in Fog-enabled 5G Networks

Hosted by Ms Nosipho Khumalo, MSc Studentship, CSIR








 - Cloud or On-Premise?

Dr Happy Sithole, Centre Manager for the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System (Host)

 - Hallo Digital Humanities: A reshaping of the Humanities in the fourth industrial revolution

Hosted by Dr Karen Calteaux, CSIR Research Group Leader: Digital Audio-visual Technologies; Prof. Menno van Zaanen, SADiLaR, North-West University; Prof. Sonja Bosch, University of South Africa; Mr Juan Steyn, Project Manager, SADILaR, North-West University
















 - The CSIR Biorefinery Industry Development Facility

The CSIR Biorefinery Industry Development Facility (BIDF) is a national facility for the development, evaluation, and implementation of biorefinery technologies aimed at the beneficiation of waste biomass into high-value materials and products.




















 - Accelerating South Africa’s energy transformation and economic recovery

Dr Clinton Carter Brown, Head: CSIR Energy Centre, CSIR (Host)

 - Load shedding over the next three years: Magnitude and mitigation

Dr Jarrad Wright, CSIR Principal Engineer and Joanne Calitz, CSIR Senior Researcher

 - Transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon and equitable energy: How are we doing?

Esther Mkhwebane, CSIR Researcher and Ruan Fourie, CSIR Energy Economist

 - An energy living lab – The Upper Blinkwater Minigrid

Mpeli Rampokanyo, CSIR Principal Engineer

 - Risk and resilience assessment of natural capital in Saldanha Bay Municipality

Dr Gregory Schreiner, CSIR Senior Environmental Assessment Practitioner

 - Ecological Infrastructure: People and business building a secure future together

Dr Michelle Audouin, CSIR Senior Researcher (Host)

 - Towards inclusive smart cities in South Africa – How should local government respond to the challenge?

Tinus Kruger, CSIR Research Group Leader: Housing and Urban Studies

 - The Green Book – Adapting settlements for the future

Alize le Roux (Host)








 - Reducing road freight costs and emissions through green tyres

Hosted by Dr Christopher de Saxe, CSIR Principal Engineer

 - Travel and mobility patterns in Gauteng: The results of a household travel survey - An interview

An interview with Dr Mathetha Mokonyama, CSIR Competence Area Manager for Transport Systems and Operations and Dr Paul Mokilane, CSIR Senior Statistician and Acting Research Group Leader: Data Science.

 - Digital solutions for public transport operations: Lessons and tools from the Covid-19 response in Gauteng

Co-hosted by Mr Khangwelo Muronga, CSIR Senior Technologist and Ms Phindile Binda, CSIR Technologist

 - Exploring new safety frontiers: The journey to facilitate safe South African road transport

Co-hosted by Dr Christopher De Saxe, CSIR Principal Engineer and Karien Venter, CSIR Senior Researcher