South Africa’s research funding and nuclear regulatory agencies sign partnership agreement

NNR CEO Ditebogo Kgomo and NRF acting deputy CEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms Dr Angus Paterson

NNR CEO Ditebogo Kgomo and NRF acting deputy CEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms Dr Angus Paterson

6th November 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) announced on Monday that the NRF has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the NNR’s Centre for Excellence for Nuclear Safety and Security. The partnership will serve to reinforce and further develop essential nuclear energy safety and security skills.

“This partnership provides an overarching framework to support research opportunities for researchers, academics, and regulators to find solutions to nuclear safety and security challenges facing the country,” explained NRF acting deputy CEO: National Research Infrastructure Platforms Dr Angus Paterson. “To support this, the NRF will contribute more than its funding and granting system to the partnership but will also provide programmatic activities that focus on research development and training in the field of nuclear science through its NRF-iThemba LABS facility.”

The strategic partnership will also cover joint and collaborative national and international research programmes. Moreover, the two agencies will jointly fund bursaries, for students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, for Master’s and PhD studies. Further, it would facilitate innovations to meet nuclear energy safety and security challenges.

“The NNR identified the NRF as a strategic partner for the purposes of fostering collaborative activities in nuclear safety and security and providing a platform for the development of a pipeline of skills and research capacity needed to informed regulatory decision-making backed by credible scientific research in the nuclear sector,” affirmed NNR CEO Ditebogo Kgomo.

In their joint statement, the two agencies stated that this partnership came at a “critical time”, with the country striving to address energy challenges and climate change consequences, as well as other priorities. The partnership would play a “critical role” in developing a pipeline of expertise to meet these challenges, both in South Africa and across Africa.

An independent statutory body, the NNR is South Africa’s research funding, research facility providing, and scientific and technical human resources development, agency. The NNR is the country’s nuclear safety standards and regulatory agency, with the mission of protecting people, property and the environment from nuclear damage.      

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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