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CSIR, TIA ink tech acceleration, commercialisation deal

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The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) have inked a five-year partnership that will contribute towards the acceleration of technology development and commercialisation in the country.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of agreement in Pretoria on Friday, 6 December.

In a statement, the organisations said they believe this partnership will drive and enhance research and development (R&D) outputs across all sectors, and build technology development capacities in SA.

Through this partnership, the CSIR will be able to access TIA funding programmes that complement and support CSIR R&D programmes and projects, such as, but not limited to, the CSIR’s Industry Innovation Partnership Programme. It will also provide TIA with access to the pipeline of current and future CSIR-developed technologies for use in the development of projects and ventures.

This move also supports the objectives of the new CSIR strategy that aims to collaborate with the public and private sector to develop and localise technologies in order to advance industries in SA. The strategy is built around the vision of accelerating socioeconomic prosperity in SA through leading innovation.

Speaking at the signing event, CSIR CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini said the partnership is a step in the right direction for conducive effective technology transfer and commercialisation, adding that it will advance local innovation and industrial development.

“This partnership is timely as it occurs when the CSIR is implementing its new strategy, which aims to leverage its strong science, engineering and technology capabilities to contribute to industrial development in the country. It demonstrates our commitment to innovating and localising technologies, in collaboration with others, while providing knowledge solutions for the inclusive and sustainable advancement of industry, as well as the broader society,” said Dlamini.

Fuzlin Levy-Hassen, interim CEO of TIA, noted: “South Africa boasts a number of science councils with strong research capacity and state-of-the-art facilities.

“The CSIR is one such partner and this will place TIA at the centre of an innovation journey that effectively supports South Africa’s socioeconomic development imperatives and competitiveness of our industries.

“The white paper on science, technology and innovation clearly emphasises the need to intensify our efforts to commercialise outputs from publicly funded research. Our partnership with the CSIR, therefore, sits at the core of this aspiration.”

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