May 30, 2008
Nanotechnology holds many socioeconomic challengesBack
Engineering|Expertise|Johannesburg|Newtown|Africa|Concrete|Industrial|Water|Africa|France|South Africa|Energy|Energy Research|Mining|Department Of Science|Department Of Science And Tech-nology|French Government|Sci-Bono Discovery Centre|South African Government|Tech-nology|Daniel Adams|Denis Pietton|Infrastructure|Samuel Elmaleh|Water
© Reuse this Significant investment and research are being applied to the science of nanotechnology and, last week, one more contribution was made – the launch of the La Villette nanotechnology exhibition at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, in Newtown, Johannesburg.
Nanotechnology, has traditionally been defined as building things from the bottom up, and is the technology of an atom, which potentially holds the key to new materials, which could improve the quality of life of South Africans, as well as position the country to compete on a global level.
The exhibition comprises four focus areas that present the foundations, techniques, applications and issues around nanotechnology through the use of posters, videos and interactive displays.
The exhibition is a concrete example of the strong collaboration in science and tech- nology between France and South Africa, says DST emerging research areas and infrastructure MD Daniel Adams.
“Given that nanotechnology is new in South Africa, this exhibition is also necessary to create awareness of the science, together with its challenges and benefits,” says Adams.
“The benefits of nanotechnology, both economically and socially, have been proven inter- nationally. South Africa has identified and realised these benefits, to the extent that we have developed a nanotechnology strategy, which delves into two main clusters: the social cluster, which deals with water and energy research, and the industrial cluster, which delves into mining and minerals, and the development of advanced materials,” Adams tells Engineering News.
The South African government has invested R170-million in nanotechnology research for the period of 2006 to 2009.
Location for this exhibition was a key ingredient to creating awareness of nanotechnology. Also, the exhibition was launched during the National Science Week, which targets the general public, and more specifically high school learners, as part of government’s mandate to renew interest in science and technology, and to promote human capital development in the future.
“We have a very good relationship with the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, which has a mission to provide access to science for young South Africans, which is very important for the future, as South Africa has [great] ambition for develop- ing science and technology. At the same time, it also needs the human capabilities, and it is important that a country like France, which has expertise, can share this with South Africa,” French ambassador to South Africa Denis Pietton tells Engineering News.
France has developed an ambitious pro-gramme in nanotechnology in the last seven years, and is considered to be one of the most advanced countries in nanotechnology research, and ranks as the fifth-largest investor in this science globally.
Pietton says that science is about sharing, and not the isolation of knowledge. “We are happy to rank among the key partners of South Africa, and the programmes we implement in the future together, not only in the field of nanotechnology, imply human exchanges that we want to develop in the future,” he adds.
“We are aware of the skills shortage in South Africa. The relationship with South Africa is of the highest level of scientific excellence because South Africa has the capabilities to deal with this. We are committed to strengthening capa- city, through a skills and research transfer between both countries in the form of exchange students and scientists. In this context, it is important to note that South Africa is not behind in its research of nanotechnology, but is on a different level, compared with France. And both countries are involved in an exchange of knowledge,” concludes French embassy counsellor for science, culture and development Samuel Elmaleh.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Science and Technology News
Article contains comments
Updated 38 minutes ago E-tolling Gauteng's highways has failed and the system falls short of its intentions, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Tuesday. "This system is falling far short of its intentions and targets," Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage told public...
Updated 51 minutes ago Fuel cell products provider Ballard Power Systems has appointed Randall MacEwen as president and CEO, effective October 6, replacing John Sheridan, who is retiring after serving as the company’s president and CEO since 2006. Sheridan would continue to serve as an...
Updated 1 hour 14 minutes ago Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital revolution was not set to get under way – it had already started, Ericsson VP for strategy, marketing and communication Tumi Sekhukhune told delegates at the Southern Africa Telecommunication Network and Application Conference...
Recent Research Reports
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...