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 The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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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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    Exploring the Prospects of Using 3D Printing Technology in the South African Human Settlements
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) & Department of Science and Technology (DST), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Technology (DST)
    South Africa is a country with significant socio-economic development challenges, with the majority of South Africans having limited or non-existent access to basic infrastructure, services, housing and socio-economic opportunities etc. The urban housing backlog currently exceeds 2.4 million houses, with many families living in informal settlements. The Breaking New Grounds Policy, 2014 for the creation of sustainable human settlements, acknowledges the challenges facing human settlements, such as, decreasing human settlements grants allocation, increasing housing backlog, mushrooming of informal settlements and urbanisation. The White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), 2019 notes that South Africa has not yet fully benefited from the potential of STI in addressing the socio-economic challenges and seeks to support the circular economy principles which entail a systematic change of moving to a zero or low waste resource-efficient society. Further to this, the Science and Technology Roadmap’s intention is to unlock the potential of South Africa’s human settlements for a decent standard of living through the smart uptake of science, technology and innovation. One such novel technology is the Three-Dimensional (3D) printing technology, which has produced numerous incredible structures around the world. 3D printing is a computer-controlled industrial manufacturing process which encompasses additive means of production to create 3D shapes. The effects of such a technology have a potential to change the world we live in and could subsequently pave the roadmap to improve on housing delivery and reduce the negative effects of conventional construction methods on the environment. To this end, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted the second virtual IID seminar titled: Exploring the Prospects of Using 3D Printing Technology in the South African Human Settlements, on 01 March 2021 to explore the potential use of 3D printing technology in human settlements. The webinar presented preliminary findings from a study conducted by UJ, addressing the following topics: 1. The viability of 3D printing technology 2. Cost comparison of 3D printed house to conventional construction 3. Preliminary perceptions on 3D printing of houses Speakers included: Dr Jennifer Mirembe (NDoHS), Dr Jeffrey Mahachi, Mr Refilwe Lediga, Mr Khululekani Ntakana and Dr Luxien Ariyan, all from UJ. There was a unanimous consensus that collaborative efforts from all stakeholders are key to take advantage of this niche technology. @ASSAf_Official; @dsigovza; @go2uj; @The_DHS; #SA 3D_Printing; #3D Print_Housing; #IID
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    The Presidential Employment Stimulus: Research Opportunities
    (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 Panel discussion titled “The Presidential Employment Stimulus: Research Opportunities”, was hosted on 10 December 2020 by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) 2020. The Presidential Employment Stimulus was launched in parliament on 15 October as part of government’s Economic Recovery Strategy. It directly funds 800,000 employment opportunities that are being implemented within the current financial year, but it is anticipated that it will also become a medium-term programme. The stimulus includes public employment programmes, job retention programmes and direct support to livelihoods. The single largest programme is run by the Department of Basic Education, which, in the last fortnight, recruited 300,000 young people as school assistants, to assist schools to deal with the setbacks faced as a result of the pandemic. The stimulus supports employment in the environmental sector and over 75,000 subsistence producers are receiving production grants through an input voucher scheme. There is a once-off grant to assist over 100,000 registered and unregistered Early Childhood Development Practitioners back on their feet, as well as a significant stimulus to the creative sector. The session set out to provide an introduction to the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), a key programme within government’s economic recovery plan led by Dr Kate Philip. The key objective was to get input from the research community on how the work that they are already doing and future work could contribute to the M&E efforts and be augmented in such a way that the PESP could become a medium-term programme. The DSI plans to hold further engagements in 2021 to mobilise the wider research community to provide evidence-based research in order to shape the research agenda that would support the M&E work and identify short-term issues that need to be factored into the department’s work plans, under the guidance of Dr Philip.
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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.
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    Stakeholders Awareness Workshop on the 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) & Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), 2019) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
    This was the 2nd of three Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) seminars held on 02 July 2019, at Future Africa Conference Centre, University of Pretoria, Gauteng by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The workshop provided an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the policy intents of the 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The White Paper sets a long-term policy direction for the South African Government to ensure the growing role for the STI, which is aligned to developmental challenges of the country. The paper is based on the extensive review of the National System of Innovation (NSI) and focuses on using STI to accelerate inclusive economic growth and to assist South Africa to benefit from global development such as rapid technological advancements, geo-political and demographic shifts. The new White Paper seeks to ensure that South Africa benefits from the potential of STI to advance the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) by instilling a culture of valuing STI, expansion and transformation of research systems, institutional landscape and human resource base of the STI, increased funding and funding efficiencies etc. The outcomes of the workshop will feed into the DSI’s Decadal Plan to direct the implementation plan for the 2019 White Paper on STI. Further engagements will be conducted with stakeholders in preparation for the drafting of the Decadal Plan.
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)