Luanita Snyman-van der Walt
Snyman-van der Walt has been with the CSIR for the past four years working as an environmental scientist focusing on Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses for environmental assessment. She has been involved in two national strategic environmental assessments for shale gas development in the Karoo and the development of aquaculture. These assessments ultimately seek to provide government with frameworks for responsible decision-making on development. Snyman-van der Walt holds an MSc in environmental science from North West University, and she is enrolled for an MSc GISc at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
About the talk
The exploration of shale gas in South Africa’s Karoo basin has been viewed with significant scepticism by some, while others believe it could potentially be the answer to energy security in the country. To provide evidence-based guidance to decision-makers, the CSIR collaborated with other science councils, research institutions, public- and private sector, and government to assess the viability and potential impact of shale gas development in the region. This talk outlines the assessment process and some of the findings.
Dr Tsepo Tsekoa
Tsekoa is a principal researcher and research group leader for biomanufacturing technology demonstration at the CSIR. He holds a PhD in applied biotechnology from the University of Western Cape and his main expertise are in the combined fields of applied biochemistry and the recombinant production of biologics, including reagent proteins, vaccines and antibodies. In recent years, Tsekoa has focused on developing production processes for the manufacturing of biologics at bench and pilot scale, with an emphasis on downstream processing aspects. The aim is to develop technology demonstrators in partnership with industrial and other partners.
About the talk
Biopharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing sectors of the pharmaceutical industry, mainly driven by a rapid expansion in the manufacture of recombinant protein-based drugs. The CSIR has identified opportunities in partnership with industry and other stakeholders to develop and ultimately locally manufacture several novel biopharmaceutical drugs in an effort to improve the cost and access to medicine in South Africa. This includes a proof of concept for the fermentation-based production of a vaccine carrier protein in recombinant E.coli, the genetic engineering of the micromachinery of a leafy tobacco plant to produce a significantly cheaper rabies antidote, called Rabivir™ and, also using a species of tobacco plant, the successful production of HIV antibodies at levels that bring the health industry a small step closer to an economically viable preventative treatment against this infection. Future emphasis will be on supporting industry to grow the local biopharmaceutical sector.
Singh holds a Master’s degree in mining engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has 20 years of working experience in the mining and minerals sector and his interests lie in mechanised mining. Singh is responsible for driving the South African Mining, Extraction Research, Development and Innovation strategy developed by the CSIR in partnership with government and the private sector. In previous roles, he led the research programme for the occupational health and safety in South Africa and also developed a strategy for the implementation of mechanised mining that served as a technology roadmap that was utilised by local mining operations towards mechanising their mining operations.
About the talk
The South African mining industry has made a significant contribution to the country’s economy for more than a century. Changes in legislation for mining licences, stricter health and safety targets, and stronger focus on reducing the impact on the environment coupled with increasing labour and electricity costs are some of the factors that significantly changed the landscape in which the mining industry now operates. Further to this, low commodity prices force South African mines to seek new, more technically advanced, cost-effective ways of increasing production without compromising occupational health and safety. Research, development, and innovation in the mining sector are therefore required to find solutions that are cheaper, safer, and more efficient. Alternative programmes must be developed and put in place to transform South Africa’s comparative mineral endowment advantages into more sustainable and globally competitive strengths. This talk discusses the recently developed and accepted South African Mining Extraction Research, Development and Innovation strategy, which is strongly focused on productivity-related issues in order to ensure that mineral resources can be converted into mineable reserves economically, safely, and with minimal impact on the environment. Furthermore the paper will discuss the opportunities that the revitalisation of mining research, development, and innovation provides for the CSIR.
Dr Jabu Mtsweni
Mtsweni holds a PhD in computer science from the University of South Africa (Unisa). He is a research group leader for cyber defence at the CSIR and research fellow at Unisa. He is also a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-study group on cybersecurity in South Africa. His research interests and technical expertise are in secure software development, software and firmware reverse engineering, malware analysis, threat intelligence, web security and general cyber warfare. Mtsweni has over 15 years’ academic and industry experience and has published over 50 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers both in local and international forums. He has also presented and actively contributed at various local and international technology forums over the years, such as the ITU World Summit on the Information Society 2017, ITWeb Security Summit, TEDx, Southern African Development Community Cybersecurity Conference, International Information Security South Africa, and the NextGeneration Threats Conference. Over the years, Mtsweni has received a number of research and excellence awards for his work, leadership and community engagement.
About the talk
Today, devices we use are mostly categories of computers, referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) and these devices range from the small to the industrial scale leading us to a smart world enabled by smart connections. Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the IoT, cloud computing and cognitive computing. The common denominator in this growing interconnectedness is information and communications technology and cyberspace. In this heavily wired revolution, Industry 4.0 is of significance interest as it impacts on every socio-economic aspects of nations, including employment, safety, security, health, environment and law. The vision for Industry 4.0 can therefore be found in various use cases where widely distributed (yet highly interconnected and integrated) cloud services, sensor networks, IoT, embedded systems, and other cyber-physical systems transcending different domains are converging and transacting with minimal human involvement. This is done to enable innovative operations that are increasingly automated and robotised where machine-to-machine and machine-to-humans communications are central. This convergence, whilst beneficial, is also creating complex safety and security challenges that both public and private organisations are not prepared to or ready to combat. In order to enable a secure and safe Industry 4.0, the CSIR is embarking on a number of national capability-building initiatives, which in turn contributes towards the vision of the country in building safer communities.
In this talk, the CSIR will share how the full potential of the Industry 4.0 vision could be enhanced. We highlight some of the research, development and innovation building blocks that the CSIR is already working on with different stakeholders and partners.