Aug 15, 2011
Mobile technology R&D gets a boost with DST, Nokia, NSN partnershipBack
Pretoria|Africa|Education|Eskom|Industrial|International Finance Corporation|Nokia Siemens Networks|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Finland|South Africa|Mobile Technology Research|Infrastructure|Jussi Hinkkanen|Naledi Pandor|Power|Rufus Andrew|Middle East
© Reuse this
The MoU was initially signed in Finland in May, after work on establishing the agreement started in September 2010, and was said to be the first of its kind within the Middle East and Africa.
The agreement was co-ordinated and owned by the DST as the principal agent for boosting innovation in South Africa. Nokia and NSN were not contracted to the DST, and the projects and initiatives were funded through the companies’ R&D and corporate social investment budgets.
Nokia VP Jussi Hinkkanen said that the MoU contained nine initiatives, although these were not static and more could be added.
One of the first initiatives to be implemented was the Mobile Application Lab (M-lab). The lab, based in Pretoria, has been constructed and would be formally opened in September. It would house a number of permanent, as well as temporary researchers who would focus on developing mobile applications, particularly for rural areas in the sectors of health and education.
The M-lab was a larger collaboration between Nokia, the DST, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Finnish government, the Innovation Hub, the Innovation Lab, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and Ungena Africa.
The other initiatives included the Research Ambassadors programme, the Open Innovation Summit, the Mobile Learning for Maths initiative, the Nokia Education Delivery initiative, the Universal Access to Mobile Technologies and Services Programme, the Nokia Data Gathering initiative, advisory on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project, and the Graduate Trainee programme.
NSN South Africa MD Rufus Andrew said that the company would assist the DST in an advisory capacity on the SKA project, with particular reference to the technical requirements for the transmission of data, as well as the business perspective on what this might cost.
He said that the project would likely have to transfer some 15 petabytes of data a second when operational.
“We look forward to a partnership that will help strengthen Africa's bid to host the SKA – the largest radio telescope ever. I am confident that the partnership will help enhance the capabilities and competencies required to build and operate a mega scientific infrastructure project of the magnitude of the SKA. In fact, the computing power required for the SKA, when fully completed, will be on a scale never seen or heard of before. The project will have to be matched with the knowledge and capacity to deal with the demands for large-scale data storage, processing and high-bandwidth requirements,” said Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.
She added that the department was not “locking out anyone” and sought involvement from as many vendors and roleplayers as possible. She noted that in terms of the SKA project, the department was collaborating with partners such as Intel, Dimension Data, Microsoft, IBM, as well as Eskom and Telkom.
Pandor stated that one of Nokia's key success factors was significant investment in R&D. “It is therefore logical to conclude that the partnership that we are formalising today will focus primarily on mobile technology R&D and innovation, which should result in the development of new services, applications and content on mobile platforms. This should ultimately lead to innovations in business, education and healthcare, and increase accessibility to markets and government services and information.”
She noted the importance of ensuring that ICT developments made a positive difference to the socioeconomic profile of the country.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other ICT News
Updated 7 hours ago President Jacob Zuma announced the composition on Wednesday of the ‘Energy Security Cabinet Sub-Committee’, which he said would oversee the development of South Africa’s future energy mix. Delivering his Budget Vote in the National Assembly, Zuma said the...
Updated 7 hours ago Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) on Wednesday stated that it welcomed government’s move to lead municipalities back to basics and to put in place institutional mechanisms to enable them to deliver core municipal services, as announced by Cooperative...
Updated 7 hours ago JSE-listed construction firm Group Five on Wednesday announced that it expected its fully diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended June 30 to be between 20% and 30% higher, at 382c to 414c, than the fully-diluted HEPS of 318c achieved during the...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Local aerospace company Denel Aerostructures (DAe), part of the State-owned Denel Group, has won a fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The new contract, which was won in an international...
Although CEO Mark McChlery and chief marketing officer Bob Skinstad likened themselves to children in a playground when taking on the task of “reengineering and repositioning” the Seartec brand, the “young, dynamic and enthusiastic guys” were like proud...
An increasing number of buyers, in both the new and used car markets, are opting for finance structures that lower their monthly repayments, says asset financing company WesBank. These include the use of large balloon payments (also known as residuals), as well as...
Tertiary education institutions can use search engine giant Google’s Chromebook to provide secure mobile end-point devices for students on which they can share documents, work collaboratively on documents and access education materials and applications being used...
Local ceiling and partition company Abbeycon has beaten global competition at the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy competition, which was held last month in Berlin, Germany.