On 4-5 December 2017, the National Research Foundation’s Knowledge Advancement and Support (KAS) Directorate, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN) hosted a concluding conference of the third Phase of the SA/ Norway Research Co-operation on Climate Change, the Environment and Clean Energy (SANCOOP). Phase III of SANCOOP started in 2014 and will lapse the end of December 2017. Its main focus was to strengthen, in a sustainable way, quality research and capacity building in the partner countries, both at institutional and individual levels. The conference, in addition to highlighting the achievements, focused on policy recommendations coming out from the various funded projects, as well as capacity development outcomes. The outcomes of this conference will be used to augment and enhance the renewed Programme to be launched by the end of December 2017.
On the 6th of December 2017, the two countries hosted the Norway Science Week in a form of a seminar themed: “Green Maritime”. This Seminar was meant to feed into and enhance the new S&T bilateral Programme to be known as SANOCEAN focusing on supporting joint research projects between South African and Norwegian researchers on blue economy, climate change, the environment and sustainable energy.
Over and above these two events, both the NRF and the French Embassy (in partnership with the DST) hosted, on 6 December 2017, a 20-year celebration of the SA/ France bilateral Programme known as the PROTEA Programme. The PROTEA Programme is a bilateral incentive program dedicated to strengthening the SA/ France collaborative research. It is co-funded by both the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research from the French side, and the NRF and DST from the South African side. It was launched in 1997 and the partners made use of the December event to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Overall about 67 projects have been funded through this Programme (fifteen projects in biology, health and medicine, eleven in geosciences, eleven in agro-sciences, nine in chemistry, seven in engineering and about six in physics. The Programme has enabled over 387 bilateral mobility exchanges between South African and French researchers. Some of the outcomes of these funded joint projects were highlighted during the celebration including the future plans by the funders.
All the above-mentioned events were held as side events to the 2017 Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) which took place on 7-8 December 2017 at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria. For further details on these Programmes please contact Mr Teuns Phahlamohlaka, Professional Officer responsible for Europe bilaterals within the NRF’s Knowledge Advancement and Support (KAS) Directorate on firstname.lastname@example.org.