The CSIR is a multidisciplinary organisation with a vast range of science, engineering and technology competences, rooted in the minds of its qualified, experienced and renowned experts. The organisation’s range of expertise include broad fields of science such as mathematics; computer and information science; applied sciences such as urban and town planning; physical sciences; chemical sciences; earth and related environmental science; and biological sciences.
It also includes engineering and technological fields such as civil engineering; architecture; mechatronics; microsystems such as microfluidics; systems engineering; mining engineering; electrical and electronic engineering; mechanical engineering; chemical engineering; materials engineering; industrial engineering; and nanotechnology. The organisation also has expertise in health and medical sciences. In the agricultural sciences, expertise includes agricultural ecology, molecular diagnostics and agroprocessing. Expertise rooted in social sciences includes resource economics.
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The CSIR has supported the South African National Defence Force with technology and concept development, modelling and simulation, experiment and exercise support, integration and interoperability,