The seventh International Symposium on Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM) will reinvigorate the link between academia, industry and international partners to stimulate the application of local research and growth of the economy, says science council Mintek research and development (R&D) GM Dr Makhapa Makhafola.
The symposium will run from November 23 to 27 at Emperors Palace, in Kempton Park. It will showcase how to move from research and breakthroughs to innovation and commercialisation, with speakers who have established spin-off companies from research conveying their experiences.
Investments in R&D must deliver returns by helping indus- tries grow and improving companies’ competitiveness, as evidenced by Mintek’s collaboration and services to industry, he says.
The commercialisation of research and innovation provides benefits for economies and society. It also supports further R&D, and many international research and development institutions are flourishing because of their commercialisation of research outputs.
The symposium will expose the current links to industry, as well as international collaborations with other science councils and universities to broaden and strengthen them. It will also discuss the potential commercialisation of South African research and promote research cooperation and services to industry, Makhafola explains.
“The symposium will also expose school students, undergraduates and postgraduates to careers in and applications of materials research, as well as strengthen the exchange programmes between South African and international academic and commercial institutions.”
Mintek head of communications Dr Jessie Pillay, who benefited from Mintek’s exchange programme, notes that many aspiring young scientists come to Mintek and other South African research institutions to gain experience and be exposed to new ideas, strengthening the industry locally and inter- nationally.
For enterprises, the symposium provides an opportunity to secure expert collaboration or services from researchers and innovators, and to attract expert talent. For educators, it provides an opportunity to connect with local and international colleagues and industries.
Two Nobel Prize laureates, German professor Robert Huber, awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in chemistry with two others for determining the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre, and German professor Klaus von Klitzing, awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the quantised Hall effect, will deliver plenary lectures at the symposium.
Further, University of Missouri Cancer Nanotechnology Platform director Professor Katesh Katti will give a presentation on his work on biological nanotechnology, as well as on the company formed based on his department’s R&D.
Materials and nanotechnology scientists from the US, the UK, Sri Lanka, Russia, China, France, Ireland, Germany, Egypt, India, Singapore, Togo, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Cyprus, Australia, Chile, Portugal, the Netherlands and Poland will present their papers at the symposium, high-lighting its international nature.