May 30, 2008
Nanotechnology holds many socioeconomic challengesBack
© 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)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other Video News
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...