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Monday, 07 April 2008

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology visits technology facilities at CPUT


“The challenge faced by institutions of higher learning is to translate knowledge into addressing basic human needs.”

This was one of the messages of Mr Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, during his visit to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's Bellville Campus on Tuesday, 18 March 2008.

Deputy Minister Hanekom said there was a need to look at how we get the knowledge generated by research and innovation to the people who need the results of that innovation. ""A vision should be beyond oneself,"" he said, referring to the importance of enabling research and innovation programs to filter through to, and be of use to the wider community.

Deputy Minister Hanekom's interest during the visit was on technology transfer and technology research and development facilities; both those initiated through programmes supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as well as those initiated by CPUT and other enabling organisations.

Deputy Minister Hanekom visited various science and technology facilities on campus accompanied by Dr Nawaz Mahomed, Manager: Manufacturing, Technology Transfer and Local Innovation at the DST; CPUT Vice-Chancellor Prof Vuyisa L. Mazwi-Tanga, two Deputy Vice-Chancellors, and senior research and administrative managers at CPUT. The visited facilities included the Oxidative Stress Research Centre, the Textile Technology Station, and the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory.

Dr Chris Nhlapo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Technology Innovation and Partnerships, presented an overview of where the institution stood in terms of technological research and innovation and where it was headed.

Dr Nhlapo said that there was an emphasis on producing more postgraduate students at CPUT. He mentioned that there was particularly a need for more female students in Engineering. He noted that there were many black students in Applied Sciences and Business, which is positive. ""We are aware that there are pockets of excellence, but we need to consolidate them so that they become centres of excellence,"" said Dr Nhlapo.

Dr Nhlapo stated that by providing funding to areas of demonstrated international strength, CPUT has brought researchers together from disparate disciplines and institutions to collaborate on creating knowledge and solving problems that truly matter to South Africans.

By Thami Nkwanyane, Marketing and Communication Department

Photograph: Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom visits the Oxidative Stress Research Centre.

Written by CPUT News