South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have signed a framework agreement to cooperate to support socioeconomic development in South Africa and Southern Africa through the development of technology and infrastructure. The areas covered by the agreement include emerging and small farmer support, energy (including the production of bioethanol), infrastructure development, and water.
The agreement also covers the DBSA’s ‘Development Labs’, generally known as ‘D-Labs’. “D-Labs are development precincts designed to create economic development spaces within communities where all local participants are connected and have access to digital presence, technologies and information,” explained the agencies in their joint press release.
“The CSIR is very pleased to be working with the DBSA,” said CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini. “This partnership brings together complimentary capabilities in innovation and development which could see us make a significant impact in South Africa and also the region.”
“The DBSA recognises that technology is key in helping us achieve our mandate of promoting economic development and inclusive growth,” stated DBSA CE Patrick Dlamini. “As a result, we are excited about this partnership as it will enable both organisations to unlock growth in our economy.”
The partnership is likely to promote the commercialisation of CSIR technologies, to increase the competitiveness of South African industry and Southern African economies. This would align with the CSIR’s strategy of using science, technology and innovation to reinforce industrial development and create a ‘capable State’.
The DBSA provides essential support to the government. It does so by making use of capabilities and skills to advance infrastructure development programmes in the main priority areas of the economy. These include education and health, energy, information and communications technology, and water and sanitation, as well as a range of municipal infrastructure projects.