DST DG's Message
The Department's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is aligned to the vision of the National Development Plan to tackle the interlinked challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. In this regard, the Strategic Plan identifies boosting human capital development for science, technology and innovation, with a special focus on transformation; promoting government-business-university investment in R&D; and more effectively translating the outcomes of investments in research into the development of new products and services for the South African economy.
The Department plays a key role in developing a sustainable and globally competitive energy knowledge base and industry, especially in relation to alternative energy technologies, by helping to shape national energy policy. In particular, it plays an advisory role in the development of the Integrated Energy Plan and Integrated Resource Plan, with an emphasis on supporting the development and deployment of alternative energy technologies that will address the country's energy needs.
Given the role that renewable energy technologies play and are still to play in our energy mix, there is a need to improve our technological capacity and capability in this sector continuously. This calls for an inclusive approach by government, business, industry and academia.
REPS 2016 provides stakeholders in the national system of innovation with an opportunity to respond to the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality by ensuring that historically disadvantaged institutions and women are part of this emerging sector. The event also provides an opportunity to strengthen linkages and ensure that our research institutions programmes prioritise the needs of industry and society in general. Lastly, it is hoped that the event will raise the public's awareness about the opportunities the sector presents.
I am excited to be part of this national effort and wish all delegates a fruitful symposium.
Dr. Phil Mjwara
Department of Science & Technology