The NRF's Knowledge Advancement and Support (KAS) Directorate, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), made a Ministerial visit to Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran on 11-12 November 2017. The South African delegation was led by H.E. Minister Naledi Pandor who met with different Iranian Ministers including H.E. Prof Mansour Gholami, Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Vice President for Science and Technology, Minister of Health and Medical Education, and Minister of Energy. The NRF and the DST were represented by Teuns Phahlamohlaka, Programme Officer: KAS and Khaya Sishuba, the DST Director for Bilateral Relations with Europe and Gulf. The objectives of the visit were to:
- Discuss the expansion of the thematic areas of scientific cooperation between the two countries with specific emphasis on renewable energy; space and laser technology;
- Share ideas and expand the collaboration with MSRT by also including partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and Energy;
- Finalise the selection of joint research projects to be funded for 2018 -2020 by both the NRF on behalf of the DST and the NIGEB on behalf of the MSRT; and
- Build networking relations between the NRF and the NIGEB.
The South African delegation also undertook an institutional study visit to the National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (NIGEB), Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council, and the University of Al-Zahra. The Iranian scientific delegation in areas of space science; renewable energy and laser technology will do a technical visit to South African institutions during the first quarter of 2018.