South Africa unveils world-class Photonics Prototyping Facility in support of local industry

South Africa’s photonics industry is set to benefit from the state-of-the-art Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) that was unveiled at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Friday, 5 March 2021.
The facility will enhance the development of photonics-based products, specifically the prototype-development phase, to test the market for acceptance of the planned product in the country. It offers class 1 000 clean rooms, technical and optical equipment, ranging from electronic, mechanical and diagnostic equipment, for a variety of wavelengths.

CSIR recognised as a top employer in South Africa

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation celebrates being crowned South Africa’s top employer. The 2021 Top Employers have been announced and the CSIR was recognised as a Top Employer in the country.

Being certified as a Top Employer showcases an organisation’s dedication to a better work environment and exhibits this through excellent human resources (HR) policies and people practices.

The Top Employers Institute programme certifies organisations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey. This survey covers six HR domains consisting of 20 topics such as People Strategy, Work Environment, Talent Acquisition, Learning, Well-being and Diversity and Inclusion and more.

CSIR unveils its refreshed brand and positioning statement

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, today unveiled a refreshed brand and positioning statement as part of its strategy to intensify its impact on society.

Recently adopted by the organisation, the strategy is aimed at amplifying the ‘I’ in ‘CSIR’, to intensify its focus on industrial development and a more aggressive quest for impact, in keeping with the organisation’s mandate to improve the quality of life of all the people of South Africa.

In a rigorous journey that unfolded over the past two years, the CSIR has worked with its stakeholders to define a new vision for itself, guiding how the organisation must fulfil its mandate in the context of South Africa’s current challenges.

The CSIR vision is supported by a new mission, objectives and values, which are the building blocks of the refreshed CSIR brand.

South African project receives International Energy award

South Africa’s largest energy efficiency initiative, the SA Industrial Energy Efficiency Project, has won the highest international accolade for an energy programme – the International Energy Project of the Year – awarded by the global Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

The award was accepted by national project manager, Alf Hartzenburg, of the National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC-SA) at the AEE International Virtual Awards ceremony, held on Wednesday, 14 October 2020. AEE members and executives from around the world responded with enthusiastic accolades when the summary of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project’s achievements was read by the Chairperson of the awards committee. 

The IEE Project, which has been led by the NCPC-SA and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) since 2010, received the award in recognition of its efforts in transforming the energy use patterns in South African industry, and mainstreaming energy management systems across economic sectors. Since its first implementation projects in 2011, the IEE Project team has assisted industrial companies to save 6.5 TWh of energy, translating to cumulative cost savings of R5.3 billion in these companies.

CSIR and the asphalt industry collaborate to construct a sustainable road section

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) new research efforts towards providing alternative product and knowledge routes for the asphalt pavement industry are paying off. The intention has been to open up the industry and enable the inclusion of more players (job creation) and eventually engineer economical, yet better performing roads.

The CSIR has been focusing on locally available alternative additives that would be much cheaper than the conventionally imported additives, as well as creating sustainable use of recycled materials that have an economical benefit for the industry, while resolving an environmental challenge for the country.

CSIR celebrates 75 years of touching lives through innovation

Africa’s leading research, development and innovation organisation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has reached a major milestone, as today, 5 October 2020, marks 75 years of its existence.

Established in 1945, the CSIR has, for seven and a half decades, dedicated its resources to improving the quality of life of South Africans through ground-breaking research, development and innovation.

The organisation’s mandate has remained the intrinsic  guiding force over the years, with the focus having been refined to respond to the global and local context. A refined focus resulted in, for example, the spin out of a number of institutions and the establishment of science councils, such as the South African Bureau of Standards, National Research Foundation, National Metrology Institute of South Africa, and the Human Sciences Research Council.

Plans afoot to bring accredited food testing to rural South Africa through mobile laboratories

The CSIR is collaborating with Mobile Agricultural Skills and Development Training (MASDT), a non-profit company that assists small and medium enterprises in the agricultural sector, to introduce an accessible and affordable mobile food safety testing facility for commercial and small rural farmers in the South African rural agro sector.

“Many farmers (commercial and small-scale) in South Africa’s rural areas battle with access to food safety testing facilities for their farm produce. This is mainly because they are located far from laboratories and the transport of samples to these laboratories are challenging. The process of handling and transporting samples also compromises the quality of the samples. This challenge results in the farmers losing out on lucrative export opportunities because they cannot provide the required food safety proofs required by rest of the supply chain,” says Inocent Makuwaza, Acting CEO of MASDT.

UNIDO in cooperation with Japan provide PPE to waste reclaimers

The COVID19 pandemic has greatly affected the activities of waste reclaimers. Under the level 5 lockdown regulations, their daily earnings were impacted by the restriction of movement. Since the lifting of these restrictions, they have been risking their lives and safety as the pandemic continues to generate new types of hazardous infectious waste that could be contaminated by the virus.

Simon Mbata, a leader of a waste reclaimers group at the pilot integration site at Vaalpark under SAWPA, explained that many waste workers could not afford PPE and could therefore not go back to work. “We are not employed and are not provided with PPE by any specific party,” he explained.

CSIR supports national COVID-19 response with locally developed ventilator

The CSIR, an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) – in collaboration with a number of local partners – has completed work on a local ventilator to be rolled out nationwide to patients showing respiratory distress in the early phase of COVID-19 infection.

The development forms part of government’s National Ventilator Project (NVP) under the auspices of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), and is supported by the Solidarity Fund. The first batch of ventilators will be provided to state hospitals around the country that are currently experiencing pressure due to the unavailability of equipment to deal with the pandemic.

Young CSIR researchers briefed the media on the impact of cybercrimes and misinformation during COVID-19 pandemic

Young scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have called on their peers to be more careful and responsible when sharing information regarding COVID-19 on social media, in order to combat the rise of misinformation (fake news), which may be harmful to the society.

They were speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, organised as part of Youth Month celebrations, to showcase the significant role played by young scientists in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19. The young researchers shared their research in cybercrime activities and the spread of misinformation during the pandemic.