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Technology & Communications News

Business R&D showing signs of recovery

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 The South African Government seeks to increase the country’s investment in research and development (R&D) by 100% from the R29-billion of 2014/2015 to to about R60-billion/year by 2020. In terms of percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), this would involve an increase from 0.77% to 1.5%.... 

Control and instrumentation play rugged role in industry

By: Simone Liedtke     28th April 2017 The uptake of new information technology (IT) in industrial automation has traditionally been at a slower rate compared with that of the broader information, communications and technology (ICT) sector, says the Society for Automation Instrumentation, Measurements and Control (SAIMC) professional... 

Control and instrumentation play rugged role in industry
TRIED AND TESTED Companies still use more traditional tried and tested architectures for projects locally

Development of SA spatial data infrastructure needs to be accelerated

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 Despite the fact that South Africa's Spatial Data Infrastructure Act was passed nearly 14 years ago, in 2003, with the intent of establishing the South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI), the Committee for Spatial Information (CSI) and the Electronic Metadata Catalogue, among other... 

Digital platform opens up ‘new collar’ work vista for millions of Africans

By: Schalk Burger     28th April 2017 Digital devices and systems are crucial components of almost all professions and are changing industries and economies worldwide. Familiarity and competence with these technologies are usually the result of education and access to the technologies. Technology multinational IBM’s Digital-Nation... 

Digital platform opens up ‘new collar’ work vista for millions of Africans

First survey of publicly funded intellectual property in SA launched

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor launched the first “South African National Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions” recently in Pretoria. “The survey reveals many trends that we did not know before …. [T]his survey constitutes... 

Global shake-up in earth observation will affect South African sector, warns CSIR

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 Worldwide, the Earth Observation (EO) sector is being shaken-up by disruptive innovations by major enterprises. "Globally, traditional EO value chains are changing radically due to technological developments, rapid commercialisation and operationalisation by, especially, leading IT [information... 

Kenya’s Konza Techno City emerging as Africa’s smart-city frontrunner

By: Schalk Burger     28th April 2017 The Konza Techno City, in Kenya, being developed about 60 km south-east of Nairobi, will be a smart city to better serve citizens and manage city operations, says wireless connectivity firm Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. The focus will be on service delivery,... 

Software platform enables multiple-channel social media messaging

By: Schalk Burger     28th April 2017 Customer engagement platform developer BrandChat’s newest software tool enables companies to control social media engagement with customers over multiple channels simultaneously, says BrandChat director Pete Matthaei. Organisations can share targeted content across multiple social media and... 

Software platform enables multiple-channel social  media messaging
PETE MATTHAEI BrandChat provides control, visibility and information to improve the direct link between customer engagement and customer action

SpaceX’s reusable rocket completes second return journey

By: Dylan Slater     28th April 2017 Private rocket company SpaceX has successfully reused one of its Falcon 9 rockets to launch a commercial communications satellite – SES-10 – for communications satellite operator SES.  

SpaceX’s reusable rocket completes second return journey
UNPRECEDENTED LAUNCH A used Falcon 9 rocket launches from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida

South African intellectual property agency seeking to stimulate innovation

By: Keith Campbell     26th April 2017 The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been holding talks with the Department of Higher Education about establishing a national Intellectual Property (IP), or Innovation, Academy, reported CIPC Executive Manager:... 

South African intellectual property agency seeking to stimulate innovation
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
The DTI office complex in Pretoria

SA telcos broadening ICT services portfolios

By: Schalk Burger     26th April 2017 South African telecommunications providers are pursuing mobile-data-driven diversification strategies that are creating growth opportunities for the industry and are bolstering their information and communication technology (ICT) services portfolios, Frost and Sullivan’s ‘South African ICT... 

Blue Label appoints COO for South African operations 

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th April 2017 JSE-listed Blue Label has appointed Wayne McCauley as COO of its South African operations.  He will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing corporate and business strategies and will report to joint CEOs Mark and Brett Levy. “We welcome Wayne to our rapidly expanding South... 

Brazilian company unveils over-the-horizon radar

By: Keith Campbell     21st April 2017 Brazilian technology company IACIT Soluções Tecnológicas S/A (IACIT), which develops and produces air traffic control and management and maritime traffic control and management systems, weather radars, telemetry systems, and integrated networks (among other products and systems) for civil, public... 

Education technology must empower educators, learners

By: Schalk Burger     21st April 2017 The focus of any education technology must be on the skills that students and learners need and how technology can be used as an enabler to develop skills, says technology multinational Microsoft South Africa MD Zoaib Hoosen. The role of any education technology must be to empower educators and... 

Education technology must empower educators, learners
TECHNICAL SKILLS Learners can explore complex and technical topics more effectively through interactive media

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

By: Keith Campbell     21st April 2017 There is more interest in nuclear energy in sub-Saharan Africa than is generally realised. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), countries in the region which are individually planning or considering nuclear power are Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and... 

Interest in nuclear energy said to be rising across sub-Saharan Africa

Limpopo to use open-source software to boost enterprise and industry development

By: Schalk Burger     21st April 2017 The Limpopo government has adopted a free and open-source software (Foss) strategy and aims to leverage the low-barriers to entry to these systems to boost its enterprise development and services sectors and initiatives, says German enterprise open-source software subsidiary SUSE Africa indirect... 

South African R&D spending on the rise 

     20th April 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Keith Campbell about the results of the country’s latest research and development survey and the highlights of the first South African National Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at publicly... 

South African R&D spending on the rise
South African R&D spending on the rise

Mastercard tests new biometric cards in South Africa

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th April 2017 South Africa is the first market to test payment technology provider Mastercard’s next-generation biometric card, which combines chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely store a cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. Two separate trials with retailer Pick ‘n Pay and... 

More than half a million rand worth of copper recovered in Tshwane

By: African News Agency      20th April 2017 The newly established anti-cable theft unit arrested 12 suspected cable thieves and recovered several tons of copper valued at more than half a million rand over the Easter weekend, Tshwane Executive Mayor Solly Msimanga said on Thursday. He said the weekend arrests were in addition to 67 other... 

South Africa’s space agency to support key Nepad programmes

By: Keith Campbell     19th April 2017 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and Nepad signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday under which the former will support various programmes of the latter with Earth observation products and services. (Nepad originally stood for New Partnership for Africa’s... 

South Africa’s space agency to support key Nepad programmes
Photo by South African National Space Agency
Nepad Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki (left) and Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami (right) after the signing of the MoU

Competition commission says not pursuing pricing complaint against MTN, Vodacom 

By: Reuters     18th April 2017 South Africa's competition regulator has decided against pursuing a complaint of unfair pricing lodged against mobile phone giants MTN Group and Vodacom by smaller unlisted rival Cell C. Cell C made the complaint with the Competition Commission in 2013, accusing MTN and Vodacom of discriminatory... 

France’s new nuclear firm pursuing SA research reactor deal

By: Keith Campbell     14th April 2017 Newly created French nuclear company TechnicAtome plans to bid for South Africa’s planned new research reactor. The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is planning a p rogramme to replace its current research reactor, SAFARI-1, which is now more than 50 years old. "We are absolutely... 

Growth in laser gas noted by company

     14th April 2017 Laser application technology has seen substantial progress and development since the invention of the laser in the 1960s and gases and welding products supplier African Oxygen (Afrox) has experienced market growth over the years owing to its development of laser gases for different applications... 

Growth in laser gas  noted by company
CUTTING EDGE Afrox started penetrating the laser cutting market around 2005 and its growth in this field and of the market share for laser cutting has dramatically increased since then

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 The Laser Research Institute (LRI), part of the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University, has achieved notable research outputs during the past three years, which has resulted in several innovative projects such as ultrafast laser spectroscopy, as well as infrared spectroscopy and laser... 

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry
SIZEABLE DEVELOPMENT A robust miniature carbon dioxide laser test system for commercialisation and a large, high-pressure carbon dioxide laser to provide infrared light with Terawatt peak power are being developed

Laser-coding guide dispels misconceptions, enhances technology

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 Global coding and marking specialist solutions provider Markem-Imaje, represented in Southern Africa by product identification solutions provider Pyrotec, has produced a guide focusing on laser-coding technology that aims to help manufacturers meet the technical challenges commonly encountered on... 

Laser-coding guide dispels misconceptions, enhances technology
CODING SOLUTION SmartLase is a laser-coding technology engineered by Markem-Imaje, designed to specifically meet the challenge faced on the fastest production lines

New laser source expands possibilities

     14th April 2017 International laser systems provider Trotec Laser has expanded the product portfolio of the Galvo marking lasers with a new laser source MOPA. The new laser source allows expanded possibilities for users when marking metals and plastics. With the MOPA laser, users are able to also mark plastics... 

New laser source expands possibilities
MAKING A MARK Trotec’s MOPA laser source is especially suitable for dark plastics, as its shorter pulses often produce “vivid”, lighter markings, which results in a higher contrast

R&D capitalises on global growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 The National Laser Centre (NLC), part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is undertaking a Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) programme and is exploring advance manufacturing technologies, leveraging on the strong global growth of the laser technology sector. NLC PPF... 

R&D capitalises on global growth
Photo by Bloomberg
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING Laser-based three-dimensional technology is mostly focused on industrial application, and presents a specific area for significant growth in the future

South Africa’s hydrogen fuel cell programme making steady progress

By: Keith Campbell     14th April 2017 The Department of Science and technology (DST) is pleased with the progress being made by the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) research, development and innovation (RDI) programme. This is a natural resources beneficiation project, aimed at increasing the market for the country’s platinum reserves by... 

South Africa’s hydrogen fuel cell programme making steady progress

TVET students benefit from Euphoria, Saben partnership

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th April 2017 Local telecoms provider Euphoria Telecom announced that it had partnered with South African Broadband Education Networks (Saben) to offer affordable Voice over Internet Protocol to South African technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges and students. Saben is an initiative... 

TVET students benefit from Euphoria, Saben partnership
GEORGE GOLDING For the education sector, reliable Internet means access to information for . . . teachers and students

Two in five industrial computers faced cyberattacks in second half of 2016

By: Schalk Burger     14th April 2017 An average of two-in-five computers related to the technological infrastructure of industrial enterprises were exposed to malicious software and targeted cyberattack in the second half of 2016, says cybersecurity multinational Kaspersky Lab Head of Critical Infrastructure Defence Department... 

SA urged to focus on producing components for battery supply chains

By: Schalk Burger     13th April 2017 South Africa can use the development and local production of various battery components in global energy storage supply chains to develop local industrial capacity, says University of the Western Cape South African Institute for Advanced Material Chemistry director Professor Vladimir Linkov.... 

South African R&D spending on the rise but government aims yet higher

By: Keith Campbell     12th April 2017 The South African government seeks to increase the country’s investment in research and development (R&D) by 100% from the R29-billion of 2014/2015 to about R60-billion a year by 2020. In terms of percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), this would involve an increase from 0.77% to 1.5%. This... 

South African R&D spending on the rise but government aims yet higher
Science & Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

Survey on South African publicly-funded intellectual property launched

By: Keith Campbell     12th April 2017 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor launched the first 'South African National Survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions' in Pretoria on Wednesday. “The survey reveals many trends that we did not know before . . . [T]his survey... 

Wits opens R6m isotope geoscience laboratory

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th April 2017 A new R6-million ultraclean isotope geoscience laboratory has been launched at the School of Geosciences at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory (WIGL), working closely with the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Geology Department, aims to deliver a... 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project 

By: Keith Campbell     11th April 2017 Two South African-designed and built nanosatellites, designated nSight1 and ZA-Aerosat, are set to be launched into space next week, as part of a consignment of 28 nanosatellites from 23 countries. The entire shipment of nanosatellites will, according to current plans, be lifted into space by a... 

South African nanosatellites to be launched soon as part of international project
Photo by SCS Aerospace Group
SCS Space’s nSight1 nanosatellite

Printed titanium parts expected to save millions in Boeing Dreamliner costs

By: Reuters     11th April 2017 Boeing Co hired Norsk Titanium to print the first structural titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner, a shift that the Norwegian three-dimensional (3-D) printing company said would eventually shave $2-million to $3-million off the cost of each plane. The contract announced on Monday is a major... 

Printed titanium parts expected to save millions in Boeing Dreamliner costs

CSIR warns global shake-up in Earth Observation will affect South African sector

By: Keith Campbell     10th April 2017 Worldwide, the Earth Observation (EO) sector is being shaken-up by disruptive innovations by major enterprises. "Globally, traditional EO value chains are changing radically due to technological developments, rapid commercialisation and operationalisation by, especially, leading IT [information... 

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