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Science Engineering Technology

Flight data soon to be sent live through satellite communication technology

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 The decades-old conventional flight data recorders found in every commercial airliner might soon be replaced, or at least supplemented by a feed of recorded data to a land-based server.  

Nurtured skills to benefit engineering sector

By: Sascha Solomons     22nd July 2016 Owing to there being a lack of welders, technicians and fitters, nonprofit organisation TEACH South Africa (TEACH) believes that nurturing pupils’ skills in mathematics, science and English in primary and secondary schools could significantly help to address the challenges in the engineering... 

Nurtured skills to benefit engineering sector
TEACH SOUTH AFRICA To address challenges in the engineering sector

Teaching scholarship in education under spotlight

By: Keith Campbell     22nd July 2016 Advancing teaching innovation and research excellence in higher education will be the focus of this year’s Annual Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Conference. The conference, in its tenth year, is an international gathering of academics and researchers that will be held at the Southern Sun... 

E-commerce a $22tn market of opportunities – Unctad

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th July 2016 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has unveiled a new electronic commerce (e-commerce) initiative to assist emerging economies in leveraging the rapidly growing $22.1-trillion market. The global e-commerce market has increased 38% since 2013, with business-to-business... 

E-commerce a $22tn market of opportunities – Unctad

MeerKAT’s First Light image a significant milestone for South Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th July 2016 Marked as the first significant scientific milestone achieved by the MeerKAT radio telescope, the telescope’s First Light image of the sky, released by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Friday, proved that it was “the best radio telescope of its kind in the southern hemisphere”.... 

MeerKAT’s First Light image a significant milestone for South Africa

Budding app economy to provide broad benefits for commerce and society

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2016 The application (app) economy in South Africa can provide the benefits of mobility for many aspects of civil service and commerce, as well as support business growth and broader access to government resources. However, the immaturity of the local app economy, compared with those in developed... 

Budding app economy to provide broad benefits for commerce and society

Role of 3D printing in development of aircraft components rising

By: Dylan Slater     15th July 2016 The rise of additive manufacturing technology, or three-dimensional (3D) printing, is spurring accelerated levels of development in a broad range of items, as concepts can be manufactured at a fraction of the costs and time it would otherwise have taken to develop parts using conventional... 

Role of 3D printing in development of aircraft components rising
AHRLAC PART 3D Solids have helped developed service parts from engineering thermoplastics for the Ahrlac aircraft

Vodacom, DoH deploy real-time medicine availability monitoring app

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2016 Telecommunications giant Vodacom and South Africa’s Department of Health (DoH) have spent the last few months deploying a mobile-based real-time system that monitors the availability of medicines at primary healthcare (PHC) clinics and mitigates sporadic through recurring challenges of medicine... 

The disrupted will become disruptors in fourth industrial revolution

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th July 2016 The fourth industrial revolution – the “digital era” – is set to change the pace of adaptation, in line with Moore’s Law, or result in companies being left out in the cold. The exponential growth of the fourth industrial revolution and the rapid transitional momentum that was under way, would... 

The disrupted will become disruptors in fourth industrial revolution

Airbus says incremental development strategy is taking shape

By: Keith Campbell     8th July 2016 With a comprehensive range of modern or modernised designs, European airliner manufacturer Airbus (part of the larger Airbus Group) is currently focused on the incremental improvement and further development of its existing airliner designs (as well as manufacturing processes and services, not... 

Airbus says incremental development strategy is taking shape

Oil-free compressors display benefits at expo

     8th July 2016 At Foodex 2016, in April, in Birmingham, compressor and pump manufacturer Gardner Denver discussed the importance of air purity across all aspects of food and beverage processing, showcasing oil-free models from across its vacuum and pressure range. The company explains that unlike compressed air... 

Oil-free compressors display benefits at expo
OIL-FREE MODELS SHOWCASED There are many cost-efficiency and safety benefits that can be realised by commissioning oil-free technology

Sasol reports sharing information with universities benefits both sides

By: Keith Campbell     8th July 2016 South African petrochemicals giant Sasol warns that maintaining strict secrecy regarding intellectual property (IP) hampers cooperation between businesses and universities and thus constrains the development of new innovations, to the disadvantage of business. This was pointed out by Sasol... 

Young innovators seen as key to overcoming local water challenges

By: David Oliveira     8th July 2016 Although South Africa faced complex challenges regarding water and sanitation, it also provided opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to find solutions for them, Water Research Council (WRC) innovation and impact group executive Mandla Msibi said last month. Speaking at the Youth and... 

Cybercrime protection too much of an inconvenience, new report finds

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th July 2016 More than 8.8-million South Africans fell victim to some form of cybercrime over the last year, but it remained “too much of a hassle” to implement security measures, a new report by security software provider Norton by Symantec has revealed. The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report showed that... 

Cybercrime protection too much of an inconvenience, new report finds

Companies not leveraging tech to fight fraud – KPMG

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th July 2016 Technology, along with weak internal controls, has become an enabler for fraudulent activity, however, companies were not doing enough to fight back with technology, a new report by advisory firm KMPG has found. Some 24% of the 750 fraudsters across 81 countries currently under forensic... 

Acquisition provides extended platform for future innovations

     1st July 2016 Communications and information technology company Nokia early last month announced its plans to acquire US-based Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) solutions provider Gainspeed via Nokia’s virtual Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) product line, reports Nokia fixed networks business group... 

Acquisition provides  extended platform for  future innovations
COMPLETION OF MERGER Upon the closing of the planned transaction, Gainspeed would become part of Nokia's fixed networks business group

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent biomanufacturing industry

By: David Oliveira     1st July 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC), a biomanufacturing innovation hub aimed at supporting small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to enter the local bio-industry, will have provided about R50-million worth of... 

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent  biomanufacturing industry

System to reinforce western Norwegian grid

     1st July 2016 Records for the longest and deepest 420 Kv cross-linked polyethylene insulation (XLPE) submarine cable system were broken early this month by manufacturing company Nexans in an undersea installation commissioned to reinforce the grid in western Norway.  

System to reinforce western Norwegian grid
RECORD BREAKING DEPTHS The project involved 90 km of cable laid, at its deepest point, 390 m below sea level

Sasol experience shows sharing information with universities benefits both sides

By: Keith Campbell     28th June 2016 South African petrochemicals giant Sasol warns that maintaining strict secrecy regarding intellectual property (IP) hampers cooperation between businesses and universities and thus constrains the development of new innovations, to the disadvantage of business. This was pointed out by Sasol... 

SA Innovation Summit competitions open for entries

By: Anine Kilian     24th June 2016 The organisers of the SA Innovation Summit 2016 have called on inventors, innovators and established companies to enter their prototype or product into the Inventors Garage and SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den competitions. The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Innovation acceleration – scaling... 

Cape Town doctor aiming to rewrite the sports safety-gear script  

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 Fifteen years ago, Dr Chris Leatt witnessed the death of a fellow motorcycle rider a few weeks after his four-year-old son, Matthew, got on a bike and fell in love with the sport. “Alan Selby had fallen at the top of a hill and I travelled up with the paramedic to assist,” says Leatt from his... 

Cape Town doctor aiming to rewrite the sports safety-gear script

New nuclear programme localisation target likely to be 50%

By: Keith Campbell     24th June 2016 The South African government is looking at securing a local content level of 50% in the country’s proposed new nuclear power plant (NPP) programme. This was stated recently by South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) Board Chairperson Dr Kelvin Kemm at a press briefing at the Necsa... 

Powerhouse merger completed

     24th June 2016 Global technology, engineering, procurement and construction company KBR announced late last month that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire specialised engineering, scientific and technical services provider Wyle. 

Powerhouse merger  completed
SMOOTH ACQUISITION Wyle will become a KBR business unit within KBR's government services segment and will maintain much of its current structure to ensure business continuity

Young innovators vital to overcoming local water challenges

By: David Oliveira     22nd June 2016 Although South Africa faced complex challenges relating to water and sanitation, it also provided opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to find solutions to those challenges, Water Research Council (WRC) innovation and impact group executive Mandla Msibi said on Wednesday. Speaking at... 

Joburg slips in Networked Society rankings

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd June 2016 Johannesburg has slipped a number of spots in the latest Networked Society City Index; however, some progress is still being made and there are signs of improvements. The 2016 edition of the report, compiled by Ericsson and released on Wednesday, ranked Johannesburg at 35, down from the 29... 

Mophatlane named combined Telkom Business Connexion CEO

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st June 2016 Business Connexion (BCX) CEO and cofounder Isaac Mophatlane has been appointed CEO of the newly integrated Telkom Business Connexion, responsible for Telkom Business and BCX. This followed the finalisation of Telkom’s multibillion-rand buy-out of BCX last year. 

South African tech to help clean up 'space junk'

By: News24Wire      20th June 2016 Researchers in Stellenbosch have developed avionics for the two DebrisSats which will remove space junk in orbit around the Earth. But a local satellite project - developed by CubeSpace, one of Stellenbosch University’s Innovus spin-out companies - plans to help alleviate the situation. 

New imaging technology to potentially disrupt optical industry

By: Henry Lazenby     13th June 2016 Former Vancouver-based rare earths explorer Elissa Resources has in February rebranded as NexOptic Technology and turned its attention to developing cutting-edge imaging technology in cooperation with Calgary-based acquisition target Spectrum Optix. NexOptic CEO Paul McKenzie explained to... 

New imaging technology to potentially disrupt optical industry
Photo by NexOpticTechnology
A rendering of a comparison of a traditional telescope and the NexOptic telescope prototype

South African, Tunisian researchers display potential of light to increase bandwidth 

By: David Oliveira     10th June 2016 Researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have published their findings in a study that shows it is possible to increase bandwidth using the patterns of light used in optical communications links. The researchers,... 

South African, Tunisian researchers display potential of light to increase bandwidth
Researchers demonstrate a 100 times increase in the amount of information that can be “packed into light” by showing how information was encoded into patterns of light by “sending” and “receiving” this example of a Rubik’s cube. (Source: Wits)

Five themes affecting global factory automation

By: Nadine James     10th June 2016 Industrial systems consultants Architects Integrating Industry South Africa (AI2SA) MD Petrus Klopper notes that there are five key themes affecting factory automation globally. He notes that while it is difficult to identify singular trends it is possible to group the key developments that are... 

Five themes affecting global factory automation
PETRUS KLOPPER Automation refers to the instrumentation and control equipment, systems and processes in industrial applications

New best-in-class industrial robots launched this year

By: Nadine James     10th June 2016 Industrial automation solutions supplier Omron launched 49 new best-in-class Adept Robots in April. The robots – now available in 39 countries; including South Africa –  are integrated with Omron sensors, safety components and machine automation controllers that were all designed to simplify the... 

New best-in-class industrial robots launched this year
RISE OF THE MACHINES The robots' applications are relevant to most packaging lines

SA invited to join Russian-led physics project to study post-Big Bang matter

By: Keith Campbell     10th June 2016 Russia has invited South Africa to join Project Nica, which is a major scientific programme to build a superconducting particle collider. The name Nica is derived from the full title of the project: Nuclotron-based Ion Collider fAcility. Construction started in 2013 and the commissioning of the... 

South Africa’s supercomputing facility unveils the fastest computer in Africa

By: Kim Cloete     7th June 2016 The fastest computer in Africa, named Lengau (cheetah in Setswana) has been unveiled at the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town. The new petaflop system is the first of its kind on the continent and is aimed at boosting services for researchers and scientists working on... 

South Africa’s supercomputing facility unveils the fastest computer in Africa
Lengau, Africa's fastest computer

Pandor urges South Africa to engage venture capital companies to invest in science, technology

By: Mia Breytenbach     2nd June 2016 South Africa should actively engage local venture capital companies to encourage and facilitate joint investments in commercial science, technology and public-benefit projects, says Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. Speaking at the National Advisory Council on Innovation's Business... 

Pandor urges South Africa to engage venture capital companies to invest in science, technology
Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

Fossils of new plant and invertebrate species discovered along N2 in the Eastern Cape 

     1st June 2016 Controlled rock cutting explosions for the upgrading of a portion of a major national road in the Eastern Cape have led to the discovery of a treasure trove of fossils from an ancient river mouth ecosystem. “A number of new invertebrates, as well as excellently preserved plant fossils of the... 

Fossils of new plant and invertebrate species discovered along N2 in the Eastern Cape

mLab partners with CSIR to foster mobile health development

By: Anine Kilian     27th May 2016 Mobile solutions laboratory mLab Southern Africa has joined forces with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to stimulate more open innovation and development within the mobile health (mHealth) and wellness sector. The partnership, announced Friday, would include a number of... 

mLab partners with CSIR to foster mobile health development

CSIR launches new facility to support biomanufacturing

By: David Oliveira     27th May 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched the R90-million Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) at the CSIR’s main campus, in Pretoria, earlier this month. The R90-million investment had resulted in new infrastructure, pilot-scale equipment, enterprise... 

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