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Science Engineering Technology

South Africa participates in international astronomy programme

By: African News Agency      Updated 34 minutes ago Astronomers from around the world, including South Africa, will attempt to study the rings of an exoplanet orbiting a star 63.4 light years away from earth. The international programme, being conducted between April 2017 and January 2018, would have astronomers observing Beta Pictoris, the second... 

Construction begins on world's largest telescope in Chilean desert

By: Reuters     29th May 2017 Construction began in Chile on Friday on the European Extremely Large Telescope, which when completed will be the world's largest optical telescope, some five times larger than the top observing instruments in use today. The size of the ELT has the potential to transform our understanding of the... 

South Africa’s space agency develops system to monitor crops

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The Earth Observation (EO) Directorate of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has developed an advanced crop-monitoring system for South Africa that will also be made available to other African countries, in due course. “We are able to monitor their [the crops’] condition through... 

Chairside milling beneficial for dental industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th May 2017 With the dental industry moving towards chairside milling for clinics, digital production solutions company Telpro Management launched electronics manufacturer Roland’s DWX-52DC tooth milling machine last month.  

Chairside milling beneficial for dental industry
ROLAND DWX-52DC The dental industry is moving towards chairside milling to shorten teeth replacement manufacturing time and reduce production costs

Country’s science and technology budget remains stable

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 The annual budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) remains stable, in real terms. “It’s in line with inflation,” DST Director General Dr Phil Mjwara told Engineering News Online at a recent press briefing. “It’s not declining, it’s not growing.” However, exchange rate volatility... 

Local company invests in space worthiness of new generation of space imagers

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 South African private-sector space company SCS Space is looking forward to establishing the spaceworthiness credentials of its Gecko imager, which is mounted on South Africa’s nSight-1 nanosatellite and which was scheduled to have been launched from the International Space Station on May 23.... 

Personalised medicine beneficial for medical industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th May 2017 Medical laboratory DNAlysis Biotechnology has added the mygeneRx – which analyses genotypes to highlight drug responsiveness for cardiovascular disease, psychiatric and pain management – to its testing portfolio.  

Personalised medicine beneficial for medical industry
PERSONALISED MEDICINE The mygeneRx test enables patients to get on the right medication quicker

Cabinet approves revised National Radio Frequency Plan

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th May 2017 South Africa’s Cabinet on Wednesday endorsed the revised National Radio Frequency Plan (NRFP) 2017, submitted by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, which aims to ensure the most efficient use of radio frequency spectrum. The Independent Communications Authority of South... 

South Africa, Namibia collaborate on science statistics

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd May 2017 South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) and Namibia’s National Commission on Research, Science and Technology will collaborate on the production of national scientific and innovation statistics, which enables the countries... 

Datatec confident of improvements after modernisation hits FY17 financial results

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd May 2017 Dual-listed Datatec is confident of improving its performance as it enters the final stages of the modernisation programme of subsidiary Westcon-Comstor that had significantly dragged the group’s financial performance in the year ended February 28. Over the last few years, the information and... 

South Africa advances new earth observation satellite

By: Keith Campbell     19th May 2017 Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor reported recently that the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has made significant progress in developing the country's next Earth observation (EO) satellite. She was giving the keynote address at the opening of the 37th International... 

Expo creates new opportunities for young scientists

     19th May 2017 Earlier this month, three learners departed to participate in the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) in Houston, US. The three learners did exceptionally well in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Finals in October last... 

Geosynthetic products supplied for substation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th May 2017 Manufacturer and comprehensive supplier of geosynthetic products Fibertex South Africa is providing an ongoing supply of its geosynthetic products for use in the construction of State-owned power utility Eskom’s Pinotage substation, in the Western Cape. This new large electrical substation is... 

Geosynthetic products supplied for substation
GEOSYNTHETIC SUPPLY Fibertex South Africa is providing an ongoing supply of a range of geosynthetic products for use in the construction of the Eskom Pinotage substation

Homo naledi coexisted with Homo sapiens, new research asserts

By: Schalk Burger     19th May 2017 The Homo naledi hominin species, first described in 2015, has been found to have coexisted in sub-equatorial Africa with other hominin species and was likely present in the same general region as the Homo sapiens species – the direct ancestors of modern humans – scientists say. The age of the... 

Homo naledi coexisted with Homo sapiens, new research asserts
Photo by University of the Witswatersrand/John Hawks
HOMO NALEDI MANDIBLE The teeth of H. naledi are similar to those of earlier hominins, including H. habilis, H. erectus and Australopithecus afarensis

DST’s budget priorities for 2017/18 

     18th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Senior Deputy Editor Keith Campbell about the Department of Science and Technology’s budget priorities for the 2017/18 financial year. 

DST’s budget priorities for 2017/18
DST’s budget priorities for 2017/18

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
GreenTower inventor Andre Nel

Department of Science and Technology budget remains stable

By: Keith Campbell     16th May 2017 The annual budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) remains stable, in real terms. “It’s in line with inflation,” DST director-general Dr Phil Mjwara told Engineering News Online at a press briefing on Tuesday. “It’s not declining, it’s not growing.” However, exchange rate... 

Department of Science and Technology budget remains stable
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor

Court ruling means new approach needed for SA’s nuclear programme

By: Keith Campbell     12th May 2017 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) called for “caution and common sense” in the press release it issued on April 28 in response to the Western Cape High Court judgement on April 26, which set aside as unconstitutional and unlawful certain policy decisions and intergovernmental... 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 With innovations in the extraction and application of uranium constantly being made, the Uranium 2017 International Conference will provide a platform for the discussion of advances in the industry and a forum for generating new ideas. 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price
LOCATION IS KEY The Uranium 2017 International Conference will include a site visit to Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine – the longest running uranium mine in the world

New audit service to support concrete product manufacturers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th May 2017 Cement and construction materials supplier AfriSam is providing additional support for its Concrete Product Manufacturers (CPMs) customers through its new Efficiency Audit service offering. AfriSam national sales manager Amit Dawneerangen says there has been a downturn in infrastructure projects... 

New audit service to  support concrete  product manufacturers
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence offers customers an additional Efficiency Audit service

New research facility enhances offerings

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th May 2017 Chemicals solutions provider Chryso Southern Africa (Chryso) has established a research facility in Jet Park, Johannesburg, to develop products specifically for the African market while offering regional testing services. Chryso CEO Norman Seymore tells Engineering News that South Africa has been... 

New research facility enhances offerings
NORMAN SEYMORE New Chryso products are the continual evolution of improvements on existing products

South African intellectual property offices seeking to stimulate innovation

By: Keith Campbell     12th May 2017 The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been holding talks with the Department of Higher Education about establishing a national Intellectual Property (IP), or Innovation, Academy, reported CIPC Executive Manager:... 

The South African National Space Agency has developed a system to monitor crops

By: Keith Campbell     11th May 2017 The Earth Observation (EO) Directorate of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has developed an advanced crop-monitoring system for South Africa that will also be made available to other African countries, in due course. “We are able to monitor their [the crops’] condition through... 

The South African National Space Agency has developed a system to monitor crops
Photo by South African National Space Agency
An image of the city of Bloemfontein, taken in 2016 by the SPOT6 satellite

FibreCo opens hosting facilities to boost WACS connectivity

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th May 2017 Open-access infrastructure and connectivity provider FibreCo on Wednesday officially opened its hosting facility, adjacent to the West Africa Cable System (WACS) landing station in Yzerfontein, Western Cape. The open-access hosting and co-location facilities, which connected directly into the... 

BCX makes R60m contribution to coding skills incubator

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th May 2017 A R60-million boost from information and communication technology group BCX has enabled nonprofit technology incubator WeThinkCode to expand its intake capacity by more than double and to kick-start an expansion programme to open its next campus in Cape Town. The tuition-free, peer-to-peer... 

BCX makes R60m contribution to coding skills incubator

NWU starts project to manufacture affordable artificial limbs

By: Irma Venter     10th May 2017 The North-West University (NWU) has started a project that may culminate in the manufacture of affordable artificial limbs. The NWU’s Faculty of Engineering, in Potchefstroom, is trying its hand at designing and manufacturing prosthetic limbs, with the aim of selling them at a fraction of the... 

NWU starts project to manufacture affordable artificial limbs
CP Kloppers, Theunis Nel and master’s degree student Jako van Rooyen

Homo naledi coexisted with other hominins and Homo sapiens

By: Schalk Burger     9th May 2017 The Homo naledi hominin species, first described in 2015, has been found to have coexisted in sub-equatorial Africa with other hominin species and was likely present in the same general region as the Homo sapiens species – the direct ancestors of modern humans – scientists revealed on Tuesday. A... 

Sansa looking at supporting African space activities

By: Keith Campbell     8th May 2017 Africa needs the support of space-based products, services and products to achieve its development goals. This was highlighted by South African National Space Agency (Sansa) CEO Dr Val Munsami in his address to the thirty-seventh International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment, in... 

Latest findings from the Rising Star cave to be revealed

By: News24Wire      8th May 2017 Paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger is expected to brief the media on Monday on the latest findings from the Rising Star cave in Johannesburg. The history of humankind changed in October 2013 after the discovery of a new human ancestor, Homo naledi, in the cave situated at the Cradle of... 

Festo Didactic providing Industry 4.0 training for tertiary education

By: Schalk Burger     5th May 2017 Employees in industry as well as students at vocational colleges and universities will need to be specially trained to work with Industry 4.0 systems to develop their understanding of fully automated digital production technologies, and knowledge of the layout and programming of digital system... 

Key Nepad programmes to be supported by SA’s space agency

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and NEPAD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which the former will support various programmes of the latter with Earth observation products and services. (NEPAD originally stood for New Partnership for Africa’s Development, but... 

Portable power and solar solutions manufacturer to launch in SA

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th May 2017 US-based portable power and solar manufacturer Goal Zero will launch its product range in South Africa through local multichannel distributor Wintec Solutions this month. Goal Zero has been developing a line of sustainable portable power solutions and lighting accessories since 2010, with its... 

Portable power and solar solutions manufacturer to launch in SA
Photo by Goal Zero
PORTABLE POWER Goal Zero’s product range includes the Boulder 100 solar panel and Yeti 400 generator

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution

By: Nadine James     5th May 2017 Self-sustaining renewable microgrids could foreseeably drive the development of Africa’s power system, resulting in quick, cost-effective electrification that enhances power security, says South African national research institution, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). CSIR... 

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution
SUBSISTENCE POWER A power system based on renewable technologies would be vastly different to the current system as an individual wind turbine could be used to generate cheap electricity for a microgrid in a remote village

South Africans to pitch innovations at Vienna Energy Forum

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd May 2017 Five South Africans will be representing South African clean technology initiatives at the Vienna Energy Forum (VEF), in Austria, in May, including two top performers from the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa (GCIP-SA). Each... 

Zim, SA researchers work together on baby elephant formula

By: News24Wire      2nd May 2017 Researchers in Zimbabwe and South Africa have embarked on a quest to unlock the make-up of elephant milk – and hopefully come up with a baby "formula" to keep orphan elephants alive. The difficulties of hand-rearing baby elephants are well-known: close to half die in captivity, many from... 

Business R&D showing signs of recovery

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 The South African Government seeks to increase the country’s investment in research and development (R&D) by 100% from the R29-billion of 2014/2015 to to about R60-billion/year by 2020. In terms of percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), this would involve an increase from 0.77% to 1.5%.... 

Development of SA spatial data infrastructure needs to be accelerated

By: Keith Campbell     28th April 2017 Despite the fact that South Africa's Spatial Data Infrastructure Act was passed nearly 14 years ago, in 2003, with the intent of establishing the South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI), the Committee for Spatial Information (CSI) and the Electronic Metadata Catalogue, among other... 

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