The South Africa-China Partnership’s Commitment to STEM Infrastructure Development is Music to Our Ears

The South African Minister of Science of Technology, Naledi Pandor, recently gave an address to mark the initiation of the second phase in establishing an eagerly awaited science park to be developed in partnership with the Chinese government. This science park is hoped to become not only a centre of scientific research excellence, but also a powerful symbol of, at government policy level, the entrenchment of scientific and industrial research as a tool to both, transform the national economy, and develop South Africa’s high-tech economy.

 

Minister Pandor notes,

 

“We are confident that we will be able to build an industrial development partnership in high-technology areas with global growth potential. This includes ICTs, advanced manufacturing, the bioeconomy, and renewable energy”.

 

In addition to the science park, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong also launched the South Africa-China People-to-People Exchange Mechanism in an effort to strengthen the blossoming relationship between the two countries in the fields of science and technology. The exchange progamme is designed to promote the accelerated development of South African STEM human capital (something we feel very strongly about), and further R&D cooperation.

 

South Africa and China have also identified short-run opportunities that can can receive immediate attention; this will include the development and up-grading of facilities and infrastructure in the private sector, at our universities and at science councils.

 

Of course, and rightly so, all the above measures are not scientific development for its own sake – all the new work will feed into Special Economic Zones whose aim it is to grow the national economy in an inclusive manner. At Beryl Labs, this is music to our ever-listening ears! We don’t believe our economy can move forward in a sustainable and inclusive fashion without the aid of world-class scientific education and research in all sectors.

Now that we’ve outlined some of the key aspects of the Minister’s highly encouraging address, we’d just like to point out 3 areas that we are most happy about.

 

1) Beryl Labs believes in the power of diversity, and we put this into practise: our South African office employs people from 5 countries across 3 continents. We know first hand that working with people different than yourself leads to intellectual variety, which directly translates into resilient and creative teams.

 

2) Quality research and educational facilities are our business and our passion. Hearing from a Minister that this need is a top priority at governmental level is enormously heartening, and again, building an inclusive and sustainable national economy that can compete in a global environment is of paramount importance.

 

3) The benefits of international cooperation and interaction cannot be overlooked. For example, our own business model sources the best equipment and furniture from top international suppliers, which our South African office then feeds into various projects, some of which appear throughout Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Swaziland and Botswana).

 

We look forward to watching the South Africa-China partnership’s commitment to STEM infrastructure unfold over the next few years, and hopefully longer! And just for the record, we’d like to underscore that Beryl Labs firmly supports the initiative, and would gladly contribute in any manner that will further its aims.

 

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