The theme for this year’s Directors’ Forum is “Triumvirate Transformation in the CoEs” with special reference to the three pillars of People, Knowledge Enterprise and Engagement with Society. The first pillar, which is at the heart of transformation, relates to equitable participation in research, development and innovation (RDI); representativeness and inclusiveness in terms of demographics (gender, race, nationality, age and class) at all levels from leadership to students.
The two-day event is aimed at raising awareness about Centres of Excellence (CoE), their work, impacts and benefits to solve societal problems and challenges; and creating an enabling environment to foster research collaboration efforts among the CoEs.
Day one of the two-day showcase saw high school learners treated to motivational talks under the theme: “Shaping South Africa’s Future Scientists – Creating Science and Technology Solutions for Societal Benefit” presented by Dr Phil Mjwara: Director General of the Department of Science and Technology and Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim: Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA.
The day also featured an open session aimed at researchers interested in enhancing their understanding of the CoE Model, exploring pathways to accessing the CoE funding instrument; becoming grantholders, or exploring ways to ensure the sustainability of the CoE beyond their allotted funding period.
Day two of the Forum will feature an inspirational list of speakers – including Dr Mamphela Ramphele – also tasked with motivating learners to consider taking up the mantle of being the country’s future leaders and scientists.
Minister Naledi Pandor of the Department of Science and Technology is also expected to deliver the keynote address on day two.
The annual NRF Director's Forums are attended by hundreds of school learners and university students participating in an interactive exhibition showcasing the work of the 15 national Centre’s of Excellence. The learners and students, all mathematics and science enthusiasts are given an opportunity to experiencethe world of cutting edge research.
Article by: Mologadi Makwela