The National Research Foundation was established as an independant government agency, through the National Research Foundation Act [Act No.23 of 1998].
The NRF receives its mandate from the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998, as amended). According to Section 3 of the Act, the object of the NRF is to contribute to national development by:
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Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
Announcement: Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) call on Democracy, Governance and Trust (DGT)
Call for Applications: Globalink Research Award Thematic Call
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2024 Academic Year
Invitation for Nominations for Professional Development Programme (PDP) Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2023
2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
Announcement of Successful Applications for General Honours Scholarships 2023_July
Announcement of Successful Applications for the 2023 NRF Scarce Skills Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Take Charge of your Future: Apply for a Pan-African University Scholarship today!
Call for Proposals: Japan Science and Technology Agency / Japan International Cooperation Agency Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development
Africa’s leading research facility for accelerator based science. Probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter; Advancing the understanding of condensed matter; Impacting the Societal need through provision for the health and environmental sector
The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences is the continents' biggest facility for particle and nuclear research.
The SAAO is a national facility of the NRF and the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.
SAEON is a national platform for detecting, translating and predicting environmental change.
SAIAB provides unique skills and infrastructure support in marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems research, molecular research, collections and bioinformatics.
SARAO is a national facility of the NRF and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, (HartRAO) in Gauteng...
South Africa’s innovation revolution must assist in solving our society’s deep and pressing socio-economic challenges. Global competitiveness, shrinking resource availability, and the requirements of a skilled labour force mean that, increasingly, an awareness and understanding of why science and research are critical to our lives is essential for developing an innovation culture.
Within the next five years, the aim is to begin to more fully embed engagement in and with science in the core NRF missions of supporting and promoting new knowledge and growing new knowledge workers. This is led by the formulation of an acceptable NRF position on engaged research which will guide the NRF approach…
NRF | SAASTA is the NRF business division tasked with leading and coordinating the science engagement programme across the NRF and beyond. The NRF is equally committed to ensuring that the science engagement leadership and national coordination role…
The NRF provides leading-edge research infrastructure platforms that ensure that the national research enterprise has the requisite infrastructure to undertake globally competitive discovery science, train the next generation of researchers, support engagement with science by and with the public and promote innovation that positively impacts society, the environment, the economy.
The annual NRF Awards recognize and celebrate South African research excellence. The awards presented to researchers are in two categories, the ratings linked awards and special recognition awards.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) conducts its procurement of goods, services, and works in accordance with its Supply Chain Management Policy in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is guided by its Supply Chain Management Policy in its procurement of goods and services. The Policy sets out the prescripts issued by National Treasury with the exact note referenced in the footnotes. The Supply Chain Management policy adheres to the National Treasury’s prescribed supply chain system framework.
The NRF’s Supply Chain Management Policy and the conduct of supply chain management at the NRF seeks to give effect to section 217 of the South African Constitution which requires that all procurement of goods and services must be done in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
The National Research Foundation bid awards and contracts. Below is the latest award.
The inaugural International Conference on Public Procurement and Innovation in Africa (PPI 2023) was hosted by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with Stellenbosch University’s African Procurement Law Unit (APLU), at its head offices in Pretoria, and concluded on Wednesday, 15 November 2023.
A first of its kind in Africa, the conference attracted about two hundred experts and specialists from the multi-billion Rand procurement sector eager to engage on policy instruments, programmes, and systems fit for public procurement as an innovation policy tool. The attendees, both in-person and virtually, heard from procurement and innovation experts from both Africa and other parts of the world.
“Procurement accounts for massive expenditure in South Africa with Government spending almost R1 trillion annually, accounting for 12% of GDP. Therefore, the potential of public procurement as an innovation policy tool is immense,” said Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, in his speech at the 15th Annual South African Innovation Summit in September 2022, noting the role of public procurement within the innovation compact as part of the Decadal Plan to implement the White Paper on Science, Technology, and Innovation.
In his conference welcoming address, Chairperson of the NRF Board, Professor Mosa Moshabela, said PPI 2023 was intended to, among other things, create procurements and tools fit to leverage each Rand spent across Africa’s science system. “We at the NRF understand that it’s important to explore all options that can help us achieve maximum value for money when it comes to public funding and expenditure in our pursuit of our mandate. When there’s less funding to go around, each and every Rand that we have needs to go further,” said Prof Moshabela.
“We feel the obligation to ensure that our procurement is optimal as we continue to support research and innovation even under difficult times,” he added. “There’s an obligation on us at the NRF that, in pursuit of our core mandate stipulated in the NRF Act, we have to explore ways in which procurement beyond the NRF itself can be leveraged. This includes ensuring that other public entities that are also tasked with similar mandates, including research and innovation, can also access the tools for procurement to ensure that they can also optimally fulfil their mandates. It is about serving the ecosystem as a whole.”
NRF Chief Financial Officer, Mr Bishen Singh, stated “The NRF has firsthand experience on the interface of innovation and procurement. It is, therefore, in our interest to explore procurement methods and approaches more suitable for the science system. The NRF plays a key role in the National System of Innovation, in steering research through its mandate of funding researchers and students; providing access to National Research Infrastructure Platforms; and science advancement. It thus follows that the NRF is keenly interested in all instruments in support of unlocking science and technology, driving innovation and commercialisation of research.”
“In realising its mandate, the NRF expends significant public funds, inter alia by way of public procurement, requisition of goods and services, including significant expenditure on infrastructure mainly through our national infrastructure platforms, added Mr Singh. “The NRF is thus keenly interested in exploring the linkages between public procurement and innovation as part of its core mandate. This includes focusing on approaches to public procurement by the NRF as well as entities and organisations that the NRF collaborates with and likely partners, furthering commercialisation stemming from innovation-driven projects. The question then is how we can best procure the goods and services necessary to support research and innovation. What methods and approaches enable us to deliver on such? Is our regulatory framework enabling?”
Some of the procurement concepts that dominated the conference were the transactional and relational models. The transactional model was described as one that fostered once-off engagement between a procurement entity and a supplier. The supplier’s only aim in this set-up was to secure payment and not to formulate relationships that could, in future, result in innovations that address an entity’s challenges. This approach is necessitated by the current procurement legislation and other issues that were evident during the recently concluded State Capture Report.
APLU Director and conference organiser, Prof Geo Quinot, said, “South Africa’s public procurement is based on the transactional model. Evidently, this is not an approach of public procurement that aligns well with systems of innovation paradigm. Put differently, our conceptual model of public procurement is not a good fit for the use of public procurement as a demand-side instrument in innovation policy.”
He added, “If we’re to use public procurement as an instrument in support of innovation, there are in, my view, a number of adjustments that we will have to make in how we conceptualise public procurement. That is, we have to adjust our conceptual model of public procurement towards a stronger relational model.”
South Africa’s Public Procurement Bill was also another point of interest raised at the conference. Introduced in the National Assembly on 30 June 2023, it intends to create a single framework to regulate public procurement across State entities. It became apparent during the conference that science institutions will make a case for innovation to feature strongly in the final public procurement legislation.
DSI Deputy Director-General, Imraan Patel,commended the conference for combining local and international expertise. “I think that combination will really help us. The second thing is that it’s very action oriented.”
He added, “I look forward to the NRF’s report detailing with the recommendations from the conference. I’m quite confident that the diversity and richness of the conversation will benefit (us) as the Ministry and the Department.”
NRF Head of Supply Chain Management, Mr Ron Grace, said “The NRF has plans for another international conference on procurement in 2024 and that will be on the topic of methods and specifications. We’re not sure that anybody else in the world has had such a conference, or whether there is an authoritative book on either of those two topics. This will be seminal, and hopefully we will have our first booklet guideline for each of those two.”
NRF/SAASTA EDU /35/2023-24
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