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 The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.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 - 7 of 7
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    The uptake of science, technology and innovation by sector departments
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), 2022) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
    The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Quantitative Evidence Research hosted a seminar titled “The Uptake of Science, Technology and Innovation by Sector Departments” on 20 July 2022, virtually, as part of the Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) seminar series. The IID seminar series is one of the instruments designed to inform and influence the uptake of demonstrated innovation and technologies by other sector departments. The DSI has undertaken twelve (12) IID seminars in partnership with ASSAf, however, the integration of these technologies by various government departments in their policies and programmers is unknown. The partners went on to commission Quantitative Evidence Research to conduct a policy research study to ascertain whether departments are responsive to STI and open to innovation uptake. The report is available at https://research.assaf.org.za/handle/20.500.11911/249 The objective of the seminar was to provide a platform to share recommendations from the study based on policy document analysis and a survey of twelve (12) sector Departments; to create awareness in order to encourage sector Departments, both national and provincial, to adapt STIs in their policies and programmes; and also to encourage other sector Departments to participate in the next phase of the study.
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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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    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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    The Smart City Initiatives in South Africa and Paving a Way to Support Cities to Address Frontier Issues Using New and Emerging Technologies
    (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)
    This was the 3rd of three Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) seminars hosted on 3 September 2019, St George’s Hotel, Pretoria by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). The intent of the seminar was to solicit input from various stakeholders to define characteristics of a smart city in the South African context, how the concept aligns with the 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and where cities are in terms of their smart city strategies and/or projects. The outcome of the seminar brought a common understanding that the country needs a national framework on smart cities and that the framework should meet basic needs in a manner that advances inclusive economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner. The following aspects were considered to achieve this: a clear definition of a smart city from a South African context, addressing all the existing challenges and not emulate first world smart city models; smart cities should link to the global market but provide solutions to local problems and not compete with first world countries; the national framework and policies for smart cities should clearly define roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, be flexible and amendable in line with the 4IR; incorporate building blocks of smart cities, including: STEM education, citizen rights, enablers (such as power, water and internet connectivity), urban versus rural, shared goals and vision. The proceedings will form part of DSI’s ongoing consultations on the concept of smart cities.
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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.
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    Annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) & Department of Science and Technology (DST), 2019) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Technology (DST)
    In 2015, South Africa joined other member states of the United Nations (UN) to sign and ratify the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). The UN consequently established the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) to leverage STI in realising the 2030 Agenda. The annual UN STI Forum (Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs) was then established to discuss the inclusion of STI in the implementation of SDGs. The forum calls on for member states to develop and implement inclusive STI for SDG action plans/roadmaps or strategies as part of the national responses to the 2030 Agenda. In the South African context, the DST has been tasked to coordinate the development and implementation of the national STI for SDGs action plan. This action plan is intended to enhance and position the National System of Innovation (NSI) to meaningfully contribute to national, regional, continental and global efforts and to implement and integrate the SDGs into STI policies, specifically the draft White Paper on STI. The forum intended to solicit input from stakeholders to develop the national STI for SDGs Action Plan and reflect on its appropriate governance and coordination structure in preparation for the member states Voluntary National Review (VNR) report to be presented to the UN in 2019.
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)