Aug 15, 2011
Mobile technology R&D gets a boost with DST, Nokia, NSN partnershipBack
Pretoria|Education|Eskom|International Finance Corporation|Nokia Siemens Networks|Africa|Finland|South Africa|Mobile Technology Research|Jussi Hinkkanen|Naledi Pandor|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 5 hours ago The development, convergence and mobility of modern information technology (IT) is challenging companies to have more agile systems. This may require more use of open IT standards to enable movement into and out of cloud services, says international open source IT...
Updated 5 hours ago Local antenna manufacturer Poynting Holdings reports high growth of its defence equipment order book, offset by losses in other divisions, and notes that about 68% of its earnings stem from exporting equipment mainly to developed markets, says Poynting CEO Dr André...
Updated 5 hours ago Only 26% of new information technology (IT) systems produce the intended results in companies, according to a new study involving 1 012 large firms employing more than 1 000 people in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Russia and South...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
Updated 5 hours ago Celebrating its fiftieth Green Star SA certification in only six years, and with a further 150 projects in the Green Star SA registration pipeline, the impact will increase significantly. “In South Africa, certified new green buildings now cover nearly one-million...
Updated 5 hours ago Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has installed an automated guided vehicle (AGV) line to replace the traditional roller conveyor used on the VW250 engine line. An AGV is a mobile robot that follows markers or cabling in the floor, or uses vision or lasers to...
Updated 5 hours ago South Africa has an opportunity to achieve a similar result to that of China, which has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens from poverty to prosperity, but the challenge is to develop world-class customer-focused engineers.
Updated 5 hours ago South Africa had more than enough money and resources to deliver on the constitutional promise of quality of life for all, but those involved in corruption have cost the country immensely.
Updated 5 hours ago BMW South Africa has postponed the introduction of the i3 city car and i8 supercar to March 2015, says spokesperson Edward Makwana. The i3 is an electric vehicle, and the i8 a plug-in hybrid. Both models were scheduled for local introduction this year.