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iThemba LABS and INSTN Establish SA Institute for Nuclear Technology and Sciences

Cape Town, Today (05 December 2017) iThemba LABS, a National Research Facility managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF), signed a cooperation agreement with the French National Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology (INSTN). The agreement paves the way for the creation of the South African Institute for Nuclear Technology and Sciences (SAINTS).

“Through the creation of SAINTS, we at iThemba LABS hope to address the growing Human Capacity Development needs in nuclear sciences, radiation protection and awareness, radiochemistry, radiation biophysics, material science and nuclear medicine. SAINTS will allow iThemba LABS to expand its current suite of post-graduate training. “said Dr Faïҫal Azaiez, Managing Director of iThemba LABS.

SAINTS, which is to be implemented in partnership with South African higher education institutions, will offer taught MSc courses to complement the current MSc programmes at the South African Universities. These tailor-made training programmes in radiation protection, radiobiology, nuclear medicine and other relevant fields aim to provide the skills required in the nuclear industry.

“We are fortunate to be partnering with the National Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology (INSTN) in France, who will share their technological expertise in the design of training programs,” continued Dr Faïҫal Azaiez.

“We as INSTN are pleased to support the SAINTS project. As the recognised applied school of the French nuclear industry and a designated ‘Collaborating Centre’ of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for education and training in nuclear technologies, as well as industrial and radiopharmaceutical applications we will bring expertise that will be leveraged in co-development of specialized training along iThemba LABS’ research and training themes,“ said Philippe Corréa, Managing Director and leader of the special delegation of the French National Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology. 

The training of more MSc and PhDs in the nuclear sciences, radiation protection and nuclear medicine will have a positive impact on South Africa in that it will fill the technically scarce skill gap with competent, professionally qualified and accredited personnel who can render expert services in a number of strategic economic sectors, including engineering, energy and health.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by a delegation from the French consulate in Cape Town, members of higher education institutions and members of the NRF Group Executive.

Note to editors:

· Photo caption from Left to right: Mr Laurent Amar, Consul General of France in Cape Town; Dr Faïҫal Azaiez, Director iThemba LABS; Mr Philippe Corréa, Director INSTN; Dr Clifford Nxomani, Deputy CEO, NRF
· Group photo is of the French delegations, plus iThemba LABS EXCOM and representatives from the HEIs.


For further information on the cooperation agreement, please contact:

1. Dr Faïҫal Azaiez, director@tlabs.ac.za   021 843 1000
2. Dr R Nemutudi rudzi@tlabs.ac.za  021 843 1348
3. Ms Coline Verneau, INSTN, Communication Service, coline.verneau@cea.fr  +3316 908 5055

For general media enquiries  please contact :
4.    Ms Naomi Haasbroek, Communications, on the event and logistics, on naomi@tlabs.ac.za  or 021 843 1259


About iThemba LABS
iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) is a national facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the largest cyclotron in the Southern Hemisphere. The laboratory commands a proud history of training South African and international students in a variety of research fields, including subatomic physics, material sciences and nuclear medicine. As a research platform of the NRF, iThemba LABS is well positioned to offer training in these areas as the researchers and users of the research facilities have professional competence to supervise postgraduate students on Honours, MSc and PhD projects. Consequentially, the supervised students are afforded hands-on opportunities for experiential training using the world class facilities available at the laboratory and at the partner laboratories around the world. http://tlabs.ac.za/

Established in 1956, INSTN is a higher education institution administered by the CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission). As the French Education and Training Institute for Nuclear Applications, INSTN’s main mission is to train technicians, engineers and researchers of the nuclear sector. For 60 years, INSTN has been supporting scientific and industrial development of the nuclear sector by delivering highly specialised training programmes, at all levels of qualification – from operator to engineer. Committed to an international programme, the Institute is, since 2016, the only IAEA ‘Collaborating Centre’ in France and Europe for Education and Training in the nuclear sector. INSTN is located across five sites in France: Saclay (Ile-de-France), Cadarache (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), Cherbourg-Octeville (Normandie), Grenoble (Rhône-Alpes), Marcoule (Occitanie). http://www-instn.cea.fr/

About NRF
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is an independent statutory body set up in accordance with the National Research Foundation Act. Its mandate is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans. www.nrf.ac.za

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