Monday, 28 February 2022

DSI delegation visits CPUT

STRENGTHENING THE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Department of Science and Innovation delegation recently met with CPUT representatives. STRENGTHENING THE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Department of Science and Innovation delegation recently met with CPUT representatives.

A Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) delegation recently visited the Institution to establish contact with the Research Directorate and get an overview of how research is managed at CPUT.

At the meeting, CPUT was represented by Dr David Phaho – Deputy-Vice Chancellor Research, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Dr Elisha Chiware- Director : Library Services, Dr Hester Burger – Manager: Unit of Research Integrity, Research Directorate, Dr Patricia Smit – Manager: Research Capacity Development and Dr Nelisiwe Maleka – Manager: Research Uptake Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

Burger said the purpose of the meeting was two-folded:

  • To introduce the work that DSI does with research offices, particularly on the relationship between South Africa and Europe and the collaboration in science and innovation research
  • To enlighten DSI about the areas of research at CPUT and activities that are running currently between CPUT and Europe.

At the meeting, the DSI stated that they aim to create contact with the Research Directorate so that they can arrange information sessions.  The department also advised that there are bilateral consortiums on research initiatives with European countries other than bilateral calls e.g. Consortium of minerals and water in Germany and Austria.  DSI coordinates South African-European funded projects. There are annual joint committee meetings chaired by the DSI Director General (DG) and European Commission DG.

On behalf of the DIS delegation, Dr Toto Matshediso stated that  it’s very important for South African institutions of higher learning to use these consortiums to forge bilateral co-operation so that they can have access to information about research initiatives and that the interest is in spin-off companies.

A comprehensive overview was provided by representatives on how CPUT manages its Research and Innovation activities. Meanwhile the DSI highlighted how CPUT  is delivering on its mandate, not just in teaching and research, but also in innovation for the benefit of the people of South Africa citing the successful launch of the three nanosatellites in January 2022 as an example. “The [DSI]colleagues were well informed about our activities and they wanted to inform us about existing  as well as emerging opportunities for research and innovation funding especially from the European Union for CPUT researchers, specifically young and emerging researchers,” Phaho said.

He added that the end goals was to establish a single point of entry within the Research Directorate at CPUT, where opportunities for funding and collaborations managed by the DSI through bilateral agreements with other countries, can be communicated to the wider CPUT Research and Innovation community. “The benefits for CPUT is an opportunity for our researchers (including academics, students and postdocs) to be informed in real time on existing and new opportunities for funding,  partnerships and mobility as they become available through the DSI.”

The meeting provided insights on research, strategic initiatives, and funding opportunities available through DSI. “Both CPUT and DSI agreed on strengthening the skills development of CPUT postgraduate students, participation of postgraduate students in exchange programmes, and European science forum. The engagements will continue and some of the action points have been executed,” Burger said.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce