B. Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Events

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This community contains non-peer reviewed slide sets (PDF format) and audio/video recordings (MP4 format) from events and presentations during those events, and in which ASSAf participated or where ASSAf was represented. The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.

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    The Launch of the National Rollout of the Municipal Innovation Maturity Index (MIMI) (A tool to measure innovation in municipalities)
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) & Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
    The MIMI project was initiated by the DSI in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the HSRC and UKZN. The purpose of this initiative was to develop an innovative tool capable of assessing and measuring the innovation landscape in municipalities, thus enabling municipalities to adopt innovative practices to improve service delivery. The outcome of the implementation testing, based on the participation of 22 municipalities, demonstrated the value and the capacity of MIMI to produce innovation maturity scores for municipalities. The digital assessment tool looked at how a municipality, as an organisation, responds to science, technology and innovation (STI) linked to service delivery, and the innovation capabilities and readiness of the municipality and the officials themselves. The tool is also designed to recommend areas of improvements in adopting innovative practices and nurturing an innovation mindset for impactful municipal service delivery. The plan going forward is to conduct learning forums to train municipal officials on how to use the MIMI digital platform, inform them about the nationwide implementation rollout plan and support municipal officials to engage in interactive and shared learnings to allow them to move to higher innovation maturity levels. The virtual launch featured a keynote address by the DSI Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara; Prof Mehmet Akif Demircioglu from the National University of Singapore gave an international perspective on innovation measurements in the public sector; and messages of support were received from MIMI partners, delivered by Prof Mosa Moshabela, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) of Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Prof Leickness Simbayi, Acting CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). It attracted over 200 attendees from municipalities, government, business and private sector stakeholders, academics, policymakers and the international audience. @ASSAf_Official; @dsigovza; #MIMI_Launch; #IID
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    Building Profitable and Sustainable Community Owned Connectivity Networks
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) & Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), 2020) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
    The IID seminar titled “Building Profitable and Sustainable Community Owned Connectivity Networks”, was hosted on 31 August 2020 on Zoom Webinar. The 2019 White Paper on science, technology and innovation (STI) recognise the pivotal enabling role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in realising an inclusive and prosperous information society and knowledge economy. One of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)’s key role is to catalyse the digital ecosystem and develop scalable models for community owned connectivity networks to replicate in other areas. Rural areas provide challenging environment to implement communication infrastructure for data and Internet based services, including high cost of network implementation and lack of customer base, low-income streams, highly scattered and low population density. The DSI has thus partnered with the University of Western Cape (UWC), the Mankosi Village community, with support from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to scaleup the Zenzeleni Community Owned Connectivity Networks (COCN). The Zenzeleni COCN has been in existence since 2012 and provides timely, reliable and affordable Wi-Fi connectivity to the remote rural areas of Mankosi and Zithulele in Mthatha. The webinar, facilitated by Ms Ellen Fischat from Story Room aimed to look at how rural and township wireless connectivity models, including Zenzeleni COCN can be scaled-up to increase the number of people connected in the rural settings, more so in light of the COVID-19 crisis. It is evident from the proceedings the need for community networks to provide access to connectivity and also more importantly, what connectivity enables. Subsequent discussions would need to focus on the users and owners of these community networks to understand how their lives have improved through the deployment of the technology. This will shed light of the financial feasibility and benefit. Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), South Africa.
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)