The declaration on education, research and innovation partnerships adopted by the South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) at Stellenbosch University earlier this year, was presented to Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology on Friday 1 November 2019.
The declaration was handed over by Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation of Stellenbosch University and Prof Stephanie Burton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria at the Department of Science and Technology offices on the CSIR campus in Pretoria.
The presentation of the declaration to the Minister followed a resolution adopted at the SASUF Leadership Summit at Stellenbosch University in May 2019. The Summit was a gathering of the Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Vice-Chancellors of the 36 universities in South Africa and Sweden represented in the Forum to map out a way forward and to further strengthen collaboration in education, research and innovation across the research themes that formed the agenda of the Research and Innovation Seminar.
The SASUF Leadership broadly resolved to call on their respective governments to implement the following:
● Promote and facilitate partnerships in research and education – by ensuring appropriate funding and a flexible funding scheme for collaboration between South Africa and Sweden.
● Promote the flexible mobility of students and PhDs – by reinforcing existing funding structures and creating new ones where gaps exist.
● Promote collaboration linked to the United Nations Agenda 2030 – by creating provision for research and educational cooperation linked specifically to the Sustainable Development Goals.
● Facilitate the development of the next generation of academics - through the initiation of grants programmes aimed specifically at emerging researchers in South Africa and Sweden.
“Our collaboration will generate innovative approaches, solutions and results, and will provide a wide range of solutions that otherwise would not be possible in fostering cooperation between Sweden and South Africa," said Dr Nzimande.
In pursuance of its endeavour to be a leading research-intensive institution in Africa with global impact, Stellenbosch University hosted the 2nd South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) Research and Innovation Seminar in parallel with the SASUF Leadership Summit on 9 & 10 May.
The SASUF Research and Innovation Seminar brought together more than 450 researchers and representatives from funding agencies, industry, and members of government from South Africa and Sweden to explore innovative ways to address challenges related to climate change, education, health systems, society, sustainable urbanization, and cyber security through research, innovation and collaboration.
The Seminar was the culmination of the Research and Innovation week with a total of 49 different satellite events that took place across South Africa in the week of 6 – 10 May 2019. It provided a forum for collaboration and exchange across the various fields mentioned earlier (based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals) in an effort to strengthen ties in research, education, and innovation.
- The third South Africa Sweden Research and Innovation week will take place from 4 to 8 May 2020 in Uppsala, Sweden.