Science and innovation as vehicles for addressing a range of pressing social and economic issues will come under the spotlight at the first official French-South African science and innovation event, taking place at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria from the 2nd  to 3rd December 2019.

 

The two-day event aims to strengthen and increase cooperation in research, training and innovation aimed at addressing the ongoing socio-economic challenges in South Africa, the region and the continent.

 

“In June 2008, South Africa and France signed a science and technology cooperation agreement covering ICT research, basic research, nanotechnology, innovation, human capital development, space science and agriculture,” said Minister Nzimande.

 

Minister Nzimande further said that the topics to be discussed at the French-South African science and innovation event will include climate change, the sustainable development goals, cross-border research, health care and sanitation, the fourth industrial revolution and artificial intelligence.

 

Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas and learn about new tools and technologies in various fields.

 

The programme is open to the media and is as follows:

 

Monday, 2 December 2019

 

Artificial Intelligence: innovation challenges and strategies

Onyx Room, 09:30 – 12:00

Academics and industry stakeholders will discuss the AI challenge in relation to innovation and human capacity building strategies. Leading international experts will illustrate the impact and role of AI in future societies. The discussion will also cover the ethical aspect of AI.

 

Tuberculosis in South Africa

Ruby Room, 10:00 – 12:00

This seminar will see specialists, NGO and private sector stakeholders discussing TB in South Africa, including vaccines, diagnostics, genomics and epidemiology, new drugs and tuberculosis relating to pregnant women, people living with HIV and children. South Africa and France are home to some of the world's foremost TB researchers, as well as significant TB research infrastructure.

 

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

 

Technology transfer for economic growth

Ruby Room, 08:30 – 9:00

Mr Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director-General for Technology Innovation at the Department of Science and Innovation, will introduce a session dedicated to technology transfer, from bench to market. His speech will address the role of technology transfer in economic growth in South Africa.

 

Understanding climate change through atmospheric sciences

Ruby Room, 12:00 – 12:15

South African and French scientists, with the help of research stations across southern Africa, study atmospheric pollution and climatic change in the region. Prof. Sivakumar Venkataraman from the University of KwaZulu-Natal will give insight into the results of this scientific collaboration.

 

Regional cooperation for ecology and environment

Ruby Room, 13:30 – 14:30

With more than 15 000 scientists, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is Europe's largest research organisation. Stéphanie Thiébault, head of the Institute of Ecology and Environment at CNRS, will give insight into the latest research in these fields during a panel discussion on regional cooperation.

 

Water and sanitation for all

Ruby Room, 16:15 – 17:15

Dr Mandla Msibi from the Water Research Commission will chair this panel discussion, in which French and South African specialists will explore the role of science in addressing Sustainable Development Goal 6 (water and sanitation for all), with a focus on the South African context of water scarcity.

 

 

For more information, contact Veronica Mohapeloa (Department of Science and Innovation) at 083 400 5750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Cécile Bégard (IRD) at 082 658 0636 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Issued by:

Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology

DST Building (53), CSIR Campus

Meiring Naude Road

Brummeria

Pretoria

Enquiries: Ishmael Mnisi 0660378859