The research focus of SABI in its initial conceptualisation had a strategic bias for promoting research capacity development in the area of taxonomy with emphasis on museums. This special focus is now phasing out and in its place a new and more inclusive programme: “Fundamental Biodiversity Information (FBI)” programme will be implemented
The South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) promotes the interests of science in the marine and coastal environments (SMCE). SANCOR is involved in many and varied activities that broadly include providing a forum for interaction, collaboration and communication about science in the marine and coastal environment, planning for the future, facilitating research, linking funders and researchers, advising on research priorities, contributing to marine policy development, educating and building capacity. The SANCOR Secretariat functions as a liaison office of KFD and is housed at the DAFF offices in Cape Town. The main research programme driven by SANCOR is the Society, Ecosystems And Change (SEAChange) programme) which aims to investigate changes in marine ecosystems over space and time. Conceptualisation of the research programme is based on three recognised drivers of change namely, natural change, climate change, and change as a result of direct human intervention. The second phase of SEAChange is in the process of winding up as the on-going funded research projects run to completion by 2014. The SANCOR community is at the initial stages of developing a new research programme that will be more aligned to the goals of the GCGC and would be more integrative of other relevant disciplines.
This research programme was previously called ‘Marine and Coastal Management Research Programme’ (MCM) and was later changed to ‘Oceans and Coasts, and Fisheries Research projects’ to accommodate all relevant sectors in the new structure of DAFF. The joint venture partners have recently renewed their commitment to supporting this research programme and have agreed on a new name: ‘Marine and Coastal Provincial Research Programme of DAFF and DEA’
In addition to the management of a wide range of research programmes, part of the mandate of the KFD Directorate is to stimulate and develop new knowledge creation and associated research capacity across the entire spectrum of knowledge fields.
RIMS provides a common application platform for publicly funded research institutions to support their research administration processes and establishes a common platform for the DST to distil data from publicly funded institutions to inform strategic research-related decision making.
In 2011, the Department of Science and Technology contracted the National Research Foundation to administer the processes for the Human and SOcial Dynamics in Development Grand Challenge short-term research grants, which had emanated from the DST call for inputs in 2010.
The vision of SABI is to develop a representative community of biological systematists - well supported by government and society - addressing exciting and important issues relevant to South Africa's rich biological heritage.