CSIR Meraka Institute
The CSIR Meraka Institute conducts research, development and innovation (RDI) in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. In response to the National Development Plan, CSIR Meraka Institute focuses on shaping South Africa’s digital future. Through its cross-cutting research, development and innovation interventions, the unit contributes to generating new knowledge for South Africa’s digital economy and contributes to attaining a digital advantage for the country.
CSIR research, technology and innovation in ICT
The CSIR provides the biggest computers in Africa to tackle various industry challenges and national initiatives, like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Because of our know-how in building superfast networks, we provide high-speed broadband connectivity to institutions in support of research, education and innovation. We play a leading role in intensive data research in South Africa.
Health information solutions
In partnership with the South African Department of Health, the CSIR is building an integrated national health information system to support the country’s policies towards universal health coverage. From a position of complete technology neutrality, we are designing the national information architecture for health, establishing a national framework for interoperability of health information systems, and fostering the implementation of innovative mobile health solutions.
Human language technologies
The CSIR solves communication challenges in South Africa’s multilingual context by researching and building digital language resources and speech technologies in the country’s 11 official languages. We provide text-to-speech, automatic speech recognition and human language analytics to support Government service delivery, provide access to information and facilitate smarter decision-making.
Satellite monitoring and decision-making systems
ICT is instrumental in aiding us observe what is happening on our planet from space. The CSIR has developed information-based systems using capabilities such as remote sensing, satellite-based synthetic aperture radar that allow us to monitor our environment, analyse the data and make life-saving decisions.
Media and broadcasting innovations
Creating media products is labour intensive and distributing the final product is expensive. We have researched and developed platforms that allow for many would-be entrepreneurs to create and broadcast their content to audiences’ mobile devices cost effectively.
Broadband and future wireless technologies
Broadband and wireless networks are pivotal to a country’s economic growth. We have developed systems that assist in the dynamic management of our spectrum resource. We have also developed technologies that allow for the use of dormant spectrum to provide broadband connectivity in underserved areas.
We offer a portfolio of services that help to manage increasing telecommunication network complexity as a result of competing demands for such network and to manage spectrum resources that gives life to wireless networks. Our solutions are applicable in cellular networks, cellular offloading technologies as well as in special critical infrastructure networks and those for specialised industries.
With increased urbanisation and a proliferation of data, cities need smart technologies capable of making sense of data and aiding city managers to make insightful decisions in provisioning the best services for citizens. The CSIR is working with Gauteng’s largest metros to enable them to analyse; visualise, decide and utilise data effectively and efficiently.
The fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally changing the way nations approach manufacturing and production, catalysed by advances in ICT. Our research in intelligent sensing networks, internet of things, human language technologies, and integrating data systems contribute to improving safety and increasing output in mining and industrial environments.