The South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Trilateral Partnership Initiative announced on Tuesday that it would award C$1-million to two new trilateral research chairs, including a South Africa-Canada-Kenya collaboration and a South Africa-Canada-Uganda collaboration.
In addition, the South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Mobility Initiative has awarded six C$40 000 mobility grants to further develop research collaboration between the South Africa and Canada.
Together, the partnerships comprise the South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Initiative, which is jointly funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). The first of the programmes seeks to invest in the development of research in sub-Saharan Africa through the establishment of trilateral partnerships involving researchers from Canada, South Africa and another sub-Saharan African country, while the second aims to strengthen collaboration between Canada and South Africa.
“This collaboration marks a huge leap forward in terms of building stronger linkages between Canadian and South African researchers. It is an example of how we can innovate in the way we collaborate and fund research,” said IDRC president Jean Lebel.
“Our approach is a fundamental expression of our collective belief in the essential role that research can and has to play, and the necessity of partnership to leverage our complementary strengths,” stated NRF CEO Dr Molapo Qhobela.
The South Africa-Canada-Kenya collaboration will focus on the use of nanotechnology to develop materials that can provide solutions for current environmental issues, such as water and soil contamination, as well as the design of new systems to help reduce the cost of current methods of purification.
The South Africa-Canada-Uganda project will focus on human–wildlife interactions impacting on the rural poor of tropical countries.
Meanwhile, the six mobility grants awarded by the South Africa–Canada Research Chairs Mobility Initiative span a range of natural sciences and engineering disciplines across a diverse group of universities, including the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Venda in South Africa. In Canada, the universities involved include the University of Alberta, McMaster University, McGill University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Victoria University.