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CSIR outlines new strategy
29 May 2019, News

The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) has revealed details about its new strategic direction, built around the vision of accelerating socioeconomic prosperity in South Africa through leading innovation.

The strategy sets out how the organisation will leverage its strong science, engineering and technology capabilities to build on industrial development opportunities, to ultimately create a more balanced focus on scientific and industrial development.

It focuses on nine synergistic clusters and enabling initiatives that span several industries and rely on collaboration with a host of public and private sector stakeholders, funding partners, industry associations, higher education institutions and innovation partners.

The clusters are technology industry convergences that were selected based on considerations of national priorities, potential for socioeconomic impact and the fourth industrial revolution. Industry challenges, value chains, emerging technology and socioeconomic trends and capability requirements were also considered.

The Future production: Mining cluster supports the growth and revitalisation of the mining industry through innovation for process, equipment and health and safety improvement. Activities in the Future production: Manufacturing cluster are directed at strengthening manufacturing and assembly, facilitating supply chain integration and improving production and processing lines by leveraging technological advances and supporting Industry 4.0 readiness. The Future production: Chemicals cluster improves the competitiveness of chemical industries through innovation in biochemical conversion, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials.

The NextGen Health cluster focuses on driving a local healthcare industry and improving health outcomes through synthetic biology and advances in digital, diagnostic and treatment technologies. Activities in the Advanced Agri and Food cluster are directed at strengthening the agricultural industry and associated agro-processing value chains through advanced technology and predictive science-based tools.

Work in the Defence and Security cluster is aimed at strengthening capabilities in defence, civil security and cybersecurity through advanced technologies.

The NextGen Enterprises & Institutions cluster is about transitioning South Africa’s institutions into a digitalised era. In the Smart Logistics cluster the focus is on enhancing the efficiency and safety of transport and logistics infrastructure and operations in support of a competitive economy. The Smart Places cluster works towards achieving smarter resource use (energy, water, climate change environment), infrastructure and service developments through transformative technologies.

As part of this new strategy, the CSIR has identified a new set of values to underpin its new organisational culture. These are not only intended to enhance work ethic, but also to hold the organisation accountable externally. The new CSIR value statement is: “Our beliefs, principles and the impact we wish to make to improve the quality of life of South Africans are EPIC. Team CSIR pursues Excellence, celebrates People, personifies Integrity, and welcomes Collaboration.”

Collaboration is key to the strategy’s successful implementation and the CSIR says it is looking forward to engaging and collaborating with both private and public sectors to understand the requirements of those whom it wishes to assist in becoming more competitive and capable.

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