New partnership for The Innovation Hub to boost research, development, infrastructure
The Innovation Hub, the innovation agency of the Gauteng Province, and a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, signed a strategic co-operation framework memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chongqing Academy of Science and Technology (CAST), China, on Friday, 28 October 2016, to increase the extent of research, development and industrialisation of Gauteng.
The Innovation Hub is strategically located in Tshwane's smart corridor and plays an important role in facilitating the flow of knowledge between research institutions, industry, citizens and government, thereby strengthening provincial competitiveness and creating shared wealth.
Established in 2008, CAST is "an industrial and technical all-around institution to integrate researches and developments, technical transformations and transfers, personnel training and international exchanges". CAST is the largest service institution in the Western China region committed to scientific research and technical innovations.
Being an industrial and technical institution, the CAST integrates R&D, technical transformation and transfers, personnel training and international exchanges. The collaboration will cement the relationship between China and South Africa and will see the two regions exploring the establishment of the "China-Africa International Technology Transfer Center" to be located at The Innovation Hub in Lynwood, Tshwane.
In addition, the MOU serves as a collaborative platform for enterprises, universities and research field of economy, science and technology, innovation entrepreneurship, culture for the purpose of prosperity in academic, economic and technological exchanges between both parties. Given the fact that South Africa currently imports more than 90% of its medical devices, the parties will work together to develop mechanisms of establishing local manufacturing capabilities with Chongqing that ensure a pathway for technologies developed at local research and academic institutions, as well as emerging black-owned businesses.
"The signing of the agreement underlines the commitment of both institutions to boost the infrastructure and assist in modernisation of the Gauteng Province, create jobs, build the capacity for technological companies and act as a collaborative platform for stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem," said McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub.
"It is a great opportunity for Chongqing Academy of Science and Technology Park to be working with South Africa, particularly The Innovation Hub as a science and technology park to advance the areas of innovation, technology and scientific initiative to harmonise the objectives in research and development," said Huang Jian, Deputy Head, CEO of Chongqing Academy of Science and Technology Park.