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Science Engineering Technology

Skilled-worker gap to widen as technology develops

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2020 The gap between jobs and skilled workers is continuing to widen as the unprecedented speed of technological development brings rise to innovations and new business models that have changed the face of global economies. While 2019 proved to be a significant year for the technology sector, and 2020... 

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene

By: Schalk Burger     21st February 2020 Rice University laboratory chemists, led by James Tour, have in the science journal Nature introduced a process by which almost any source of carbon can be turned into graphene flakes, the university said. The gram-scale bottom-up flash graphene synthesis process is quick and cheap and can... 

Chemists develop process to turn rubbish into graphene
FLASH GRAPHENE Undergraduate intern Christina Crassas, chemist James Tour and graduate students Paul Advincula and Duy Luong turn carbon black into graphene in a flash

Organisers aim high for defence and aerospace expo

By: Halima Frost     21st February 2020 Despite various challenges in South Africa, as well as in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) Expo organisers hope to host a successful event this year, says AAD exhibition director Leona Redelinghuys. These difficulties include... 

Organisers aim high for  defence and aerospace expo
AIMING HIGH The Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo will showcase South African Air Force’s capabilities in an ever better air show this year

Ramaphosa announces new science and technology varsity

By: News24Wire      14th February 2020 The people of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng will soon enjoy a new science and technology university, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised during his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) on Thursday night. "We will enable young people in that metro to be trained in high-impact and cutting edge technological... 

Eskom tests appetite for ‘commercialisation’ of PBMR technologies, assets

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is seeking to dispose of its Pebble Bed Modular Reactor technology and remaining assets. It recently issued an Expression of Interest (EOI), regarding the “commercialisation of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor SOC [State-Owned Company] Ltd (PBMR), design,... 

Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems 

13th February 2020 In an effort to provide a network and platform through which new solutions can be developed to mitigate and solve the country’s challenges, the United Nations Development Programme has launched its 60th Accelerator Lab in South Africa. Journalist Simone Liedtke attended the launch event last month. 

Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems
Accelerator Lab aims to use innovation to tackle SA's biggest social problems

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th February 2020 UK industrial technology group Rolls-Royce announced on Tuesday that it has started manufacturing the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades. These are for its UltraFan demonstrator power plant, which will unprecedentedly efficient and sustainable. A full set of UltraFan blades will have a... 

Rolls-Royce has started making the world’s largest aeroengine fan blades

Skills shortages threaten South Africa’s 4IR progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th February 2020 Skills shortages will be the single biggest challenge facing the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the next ten years, the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) says. While South Africa’s highly innovative and... 

Smart drones to be tested in battle against East Africa locust swarms

By: Reuters     11th February 2020 The United Nations (UN) is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across... 

Employment services assist facilities go digital

7th February 2020 Temporary employment services (TES) provide the missing link in helping healthcare facilities on their journey to digital transformation, says information and communication technology company T-Systems South Africa operational excellence manager Theresa Ackerman. Healthcare costs continue to... 

South African, Chinese researchers in quantum communications breakthrough

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th February 2020 A joint team composed of researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, and China’s Huazhang University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, has successfully demonstrated the transmission of “multiple quantum patterns of twisted light” down a 250... 

Stellenbosch University appoints US expert to lead startup incubator

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th February 2020 Stellenbosch University has appointed US social entrepreneur Joshua Romisher CEO of its LaunchLab business incubator. From New York, to Silicon Valley to South Africa, Romisher has traded a career in investment banking to help the university create innovative startups in South Africa and... 

Stellenbosch University appoints US expert to lead startup incubator
Stellenbosch University LaunchLab CEO Joshua Romisher

Eskom seeks commercialisation offers for PBMR technologies and assets

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 Eskom has issued a request for an Expression of Interest (EOI) regarding the “commercialisation of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor SOC [State-Owned Company] Ltd (PBMR), design, development, manufacturing, and construction of [a] Small Modular Reactor and supply of TRISO [Tristructural Isotropic]... 

SA space agency’s new strategic plan incorporates continental initiatives

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has developed a new strategic plan for the next five years, which it hopes will soon be approved and implemented with effect from the start of the next financial year (April 1, 2020). “In terms of the process, we’re going through the formal... 

SA space agency’s new strategic plan incorporates continental initiatives

Karoo firewalkers: Dinosaurs braved South Africa's land of lava

By: , Bloomberg     30th January 2020 About 183-million years ago during the early part of the Jurassic Period, enormous amounts of lava flowed across the landscape in what is now South Africa, transforming the environment into a land of fire. But fossil footprints described by scientists on Wednesday showed that intrepid dinosaurs... 

Accelerator Lab to develop new solutions to South Africa’s challenges

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2020 A new Accelerator Lab has been launched in South Africa to provide a network and platform through which new solutions can be developed to mitigate and solve the challenges facing the country. Launched at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s conference centre, in Tshwane, on... 

Accelerator Lab to develop new solutions to South Africa’s challenges
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Blade Nzimande

Opinion: Amazing SA inventions of 2019

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     27th January 2020 South Africans are an innovative lot. Much of the world knows about Chris Barnard, the surgeon who performed the world’s first heart transplant in 1967, but many other citizens of this great nation who introduced a multiplicity of amazing innovations in various fields remain below the radar.... 

Opinion: Amazing SA inventions of 2019

South African, Chinese researchers jointly make quantum communications breakthrough

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 A joint team composed of researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, and China’s Huazhang University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, has successfully demonstrated the transmission of “multiple quantum patterns of twisted light” down a 250... 

SA expertise drawn in to support Bingo radio astronomy project

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 South Africa is making an important contribution to a Brazilian-led international radio astronomy project, known as the Bingo Telescope. Bingo stands for Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in Neutral Gas Observations. (To simplify, baryons are “heavy” subatomic particles, of which the proton and... 

CSIR signs deal with businesses to commercialise technologies

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th January 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed a trilateral agreement with two companies, 3Sixty Global Solutions Group (3Sixty GSG) and Tautomer, which is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of technologies developed by the science council. (3Sixty GSG is a... 

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery 

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2020 South African State-owned nuclear technology company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) announced on Tuesday that it had regained 80% of its market share for the medical radioisotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). NTP is one of three large global producers and suppliers of Mo-99, but, from November 2017 to November... 

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery
Photo by NTP
NTP Radioisotopes MD Tina Eboka

MeerKAT strikes again, with another astronomical first

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th January 2020 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO’s) MeerKAT radio telescope array has delivered another important radio astronomy first. It has successfully imaged faint, Milky Way-type, radio galaxies at distances of between 8-billion and 11-billion light years from Earth. MeerKAT is... 

CSIR signs technology commercialisation agreement with two local companies

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th January 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Wednesday signed a trilateral agreement with two companies, 3Sixty Global Solutions Group (3Sixty GSG) and Tautomer, which is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of technologies developed by the science council. (3Sixty GSG is a... 

Automotive sector AI to cross $12bn mark by 2026

By: Simone Liedtke     10th January 2020 Artificial intelligence (AI) in the automotive market is set to cross the $12-billion mark by 2026, reports market research and strategy consulting firm Global Market Insights (GMI). This growth will be driven by the steadily growing uptake of driver assistance technologies for increasing driving... 

Robotics likely to be a school subject in 2021, says Motshekga

By: African News Agency      8th January 2020 Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday night that select schools would be piloting subjects such as robotics this year and if successful, the subjects could be rolled-out to public schools as early as 2021.  The minister made the announcement at the Vodacom Dome in Midrand,... 

South Africans show interest in innovative mobility services, connected technologies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th January 2020 Deloitte’s ‘2019 Global Automotive Consumer Study’ reveals that while South Africans still aspire to own their own vehicles – and concerns around autonomous, as well as connected vehicles remain – they are interested in innovative mobility services and willing to pay for connected technologies.... 

EOH, others mourn death of chair Mkhwanazi

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2020 JSE-listed information technology services company EOH has appointed lead independent nonexecutive director Andrew Mthembu interim chairperson, following the passing of Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi on Saturday. The company in a statement on Monday said Mkhwanazi had been admitted to the Wits Donald Gordan... 

Ethiopia launches first satellite into space

By: Reuters     20th December 2019 Ethiopia launched its first satellite into space on Friday, as more sub-Saharan African nations strive to develop space programs to advance their development goals and encourage scientific innovation. Before dawn on Friday, senior officials and citizens gathered at the Entoto Observatory and... 

MeerKAT scores another astronomical first

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th December 2019 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (SARAO’s) MeerKAT radio telescope array has delivered another important radio astronomy first. It has successfully imaged faint, Milky Way-type, radio galaxies at distances of between 8-billion and 11-billion light years from Earth. MeerKAT is... 

MeerKAT scores another astronomical first
A composite image of radio galaxies and the MeerKAT array.

New entity launched to stimulate SA space sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th December 2019 Not-for-profit company ZASpace Inc. was recently launched in Pretoria and is intended to stimulate the development of the local space industry and especially the geospatial sector, to meet the rapidly growing needs of South Africa and Africa. This will include skills development and innovative... 

Science, innovation investment crucial to Africa’s development

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 Africa still does not realise the potential and opportunity that science and innovation hold for its development, says South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor. 

Science, innovation investment crucial to Africa’s development
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
NALEDI PANDOR The time has come for Africa to be serious about investing more in research, development and innovation

Diversified miner announces R20-billion investment drive 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 JSE-listed diversified mining company Exxaro officially announced its commitment of R20-billion towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive for South Africa at the 2019 South African Investment Conference, which took place in Johannesburg, last month. 

Diversified miner announces R20-billion investment drive
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo discussed the company’s investments ahead of the 2019 South African Investment Conference. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 31.10.2019

African cities bet on new technology to fix growing water shortages

By: Reuters     11th December 2019 From solar-powered ground pumps to 3D-printed filters, new technology can help solve water shortages in African cities facing rapid growth, entrepreneurs and policymakers said. These were among the solutions discussed at a summit hosted by the Islamic Development Bank in Senegal's capital Dakar... 

South African nuclear industry body announces new president 

By: Rebecca Campbell     10th December 2019 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) announced, on Tuesday, that it had appointed a new president, with effect from this month. He is Professor Itumeleng Mosala. The association has also appointed two special advisers to its board, namely Dr Pali Lehohla and Silas Zimu. “Prof... 

Altron to buy next-gen IT security services provider

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th December 2019 Allied Electronics (Altron) has entered into a R360-million deal to buy identity security provider Ubusha Technologies to strengthen its existing capability in the information technology (IT) security market. Through subsidiary Altron TMT, the group inked a share sale agreement with Ubusha... 

Regulatory, financing snags curbing SA aviation

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2019 The past few weeks have seen a series of important conferences in South Africa, as far as the aerospace and defence sectors are concerned. And the aerospace and defence sectors are a significant part of the country’s high-technology manufacturing industry. They were the 2019 Aeronautical Society... 

South Africa needs more startups but local space SMEs are competitive

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2019 Start-up companies must not be confused with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), highlighted Co-Open Innovation (COOi) Studios Director Sandiso Sibisi at the South African National Space Agency’s recent 2nd Space for National Development Conference, in Pretoria. She explained that there was a... 

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