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Science Engineering Technology

AU signs new agreement on Earth observation cooperation with a European organisation

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th May 2024 The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (much better known by its acronym, EUMETSAT) have signed an agreement to reinforce their cooperation in the sphere of Earth observation (EO). This follows the start of the deployment... 

Manufacturer highlights XRT sorting technology’s impact

24th May 2024 Mining sorting equipment manufacturer TOMRA Mining highlights that its XRT technology, powered by TOMRA Insight, has delivered significant results at the Mothae Diamonds operation, in Lesotho. Global diamond producer Lucapa Diamonds owns 70% of Mothae Diamonds, a mine located in the Maluti... 

An image of the Mothae mine, which uses TOMRA sorters
NOVEL TECH SOLUTIONS TOMRA Mining emphasises the importance of its technologically driven mine sorting equipment

Algae offers new carbon emissions solution

By: Halima Frost     24th May 2024 Based on the concept that algae are a carbon-capture powerhouse, Austin, Texas biotech company Reactive Surfaces has invested over $2-million in the research and development of an algae-infused paint and surface area treatment, to not only capture but also sequester carbon emissions. Lichen is a... 

A microscope view of a lichen spore which is a complex life form comprising a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms; a fungus and an algae
GROWING INTEREST The lichen life form has piqued the interest of paint manufacturers after Reactive Surfaces introduced it to paint to allow for carbon capture

Mining’s shift highlighted in SmartMine IoT

24th May 2024 With the advent of Industry 5.0, which will be characterised by the fusion of digital technologies, data analytics and automation, mining and industrial consultant Schauenburg Systems asserts that the mining industry is experiencing a profound shift towards digitalisation.  Industry 5.0 heralds a... 

An image of Kevin Schlorke
KEVIN SCHLORKE The SmartMine IoT platform's open architecture software leverages data-driven insights for smarter solutions and informed decision making, ensuring a safer and productive future

Microsoft, dtic enter empowerment agreement

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st May 2024 Microsoft and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) on Tuesday entered into an empowerment agreement to unlock programmes to support skills and capability development, as well as enterprise development for youth and small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs). The... 

Tenth Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation finalists revealed

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th May 2024 Four innovators from Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire and Uganda – whose innovations address recycling in construction, AI tools for healthcare and farming, and reengineered waste collection – have been selected from a shortlist of 16 to compete for this year’s £50 000 Africa Prize for Engineering... 

Weekend’s geomagnetic storm was the strongest to hit South Africa in over 20 years

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th May 2024 The solar storm which hit Earth on Friday and Saturday was the most severe to affect South and Southern Africa in 21 years, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has reported. The SANSA Space Weather Centre, located at the SANSA Space Science facility in Hermanus, in the Western Cape,... 

Auroras over Gansbaai, triggered by the severe geomagnetic storm this last weekend
Photo by Johan le Roux/SANSA
Auroras over Gansbaai, triggered by the severe geomagnetic storm this last weekend

New fellowship programme, to bring researchers into government policymaking, launched  

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2024 The pilot phase of a joint programme of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the National Research Foundation (NRF), to bridge the gap between government and academia, was officially launched on Tuesday. Called the DSI-NRF Policy Placement Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, it is... 

CSIR Coastal Engineers help ports and ship owners with physical and computer model tests

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd May 2024 Although South African ports are sheltered from swell waves, three of them – Cape Town, Ngqura and Saldanha – can and do experience what are called infra-gravity waves. These are a category of gravity waves, which are waves travelling along the surface of the sea (where it interfaced with the... 

A ship mooring behaviour experiment being run in a CSIR water tank; in the background, another ship model is on the moment-of-inertia calibration cradle
Photo by Creamer Media's Rebecca Campbell
A ship mooring behaviour experiment being run in a CSIR water tank; in the background, another ship model is on the moment-of-inertia calibration cradle

Data, drones can improve local agriculture

3rd May 2024 Smart technology, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned vehicles, can counter various challenges in the agricultural sector, boosting productivity, reducing costs and assisting in preserving precious resources, says drone technology company DJI product manager Ruan Botha.... 

An image of DJI product manager Ruan Botha
RUAN BOTHA Innovative solutions are required for long-term sustainability and growth

South African tech startups have three more days to enter Irish Tech Challenge

By: Darren Parker     2nd May 2024 High-impact South African startups have until May 5 to submit their applications for the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa, which promises to provide winners global market access. The challenge is a partnership between the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa, the Department of Science and... 

Scientists explore how to improve crop yields – on Mars

By: Reuters     2nd May 2024 For future human bases or colonies on Mars to be self-sustaining, a reliable source of home-grown food will be a must. It simply would be too costly and risky to rely upon rocket deliveries to meet the food needs of colonists. With this in mind, scientists are exploring ways to optimize space... 

Airbus announces its next generation of Earth observation satellites

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th April 2024 Airbus Defence and Space, part of the Europe-based global major aerospace group Airbus, has announced that it is to augment its in-house Earth observation (EO) satellite constellation capability through the development and deployment of the next generation of its Pléiades Neo satellites.... 

Images of the Eiffel Tower taken by Airbus Defence and Space's Pléiades Neo satellites
Photo by Airbus Defence and Space
Images of the Eiffel Tower taken by Airbus Defence and Space's Pléiades Neo satellites

Rand Refinery donates R2m to seven Gauteng schools

By: Sabrina Jardim     29th April 2024 As part of its commitment to education, precious metals refiner Rand Refinery has donated R2-million to seven primary and secondary schools in Gauteng. The company says this donation will be allocated towards refurbishments at, and procurement of modern educational tools by, the selected schools. 

Defy launches solar-powered off-grid range 

24th April 2024 Amid the compounding effects of loadshedding in South Africa and increasing concerns about climate change, appliance manufacturer Defy has launched its Solar Off-Grid fridge and freezer range to address local energy challenges. Sabrina Jardim tells us more. 

Defy launches solar-powered off-grid range
Defy launches solar-powered off-grid range

UK innovation agency highlights quality of the emerging African space sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2024 Innovate UK, Britain’s national innovation agency, has, in a new report, highlighted that Africa is becoming a hub for globally competitive space technology, development and research. In particular, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa were identified as space sector leaders in Africa. The report was... 

L’Oréal, Unesco launch the 2024 South Africa Women in Science Young Talent Search

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd April 2024 The Foundation L’Oréal announced on Monday that the sixth edition of the Women in Science Young Talent Search had been launched in South Africa. This initiative is a partnership between the foundation and specialist United Nations agency Unesco. Women researchers under the age of 40 are eligible... 

NRF to participate in significant African-European scientific collaboration forum

By: Rebecca Campbell     17th April 2024 The National Research Foundation (NRF) will participate in the fourth AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Forum, which will be hosted by the South African Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, next week. AERAP is an acronym for Africa-Europe Science Collaboration and Innovation Platform and the NRF... 

MTN, Huawei launch joint technology innovation lab

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th April 2024 Telecommunications giant MTN Group and information and communication technology group Huawei have jointly launched Technology Innovation Lab to accelerate digital transformation and sustainable development across Africa. The establishment of the lab at MTN’s headquarters in Roodepoort, marking a... 

Cape Town technology enterprise incubator celebrates birthday with launch of new products

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2024 Cape Town-based ‘techpreneur’ incubation hub The Creative Lab has announced that it would mark its first anniversary with the launch of a diverse array of cutting-edge products, developed by a number of South African innovators, using the hub’s facilities. The Creative Lab is an initiative of... 

Stellenbosch space company winning international orders

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th April 2024 South African specialist microsatellite high-speed communication systems company Cubecom, part of the Alphawave Group, has announced that it has secured “substantial orders from multiple high-profile international space institutes” for its leading-edge High Data Rate Transmitters for... 

Cape Town to depoly camera-fitted aircraft in war against crime

By: Irma Venter     12th April 2024 The City of Cape Towns’ (CoCT’s) Safety and Security Directorate is enhancing its crime prevention capabilities with the inclusion of new aerial surveillance technology. The information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technology will take information gathering “to the next level” in the... 

South Africa's science, innovation dept launches circular minerals, metals initiative 

By: Darren Parker     11th April 2024 South Africa's Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has launched the first of three new government-led collaborative circular economy initiatives focusing on priority economic sectors that were identified by government in... 

DSI technology innovation deputy director general Mmboneni Muofhe
Photo by Creamer Media
DSI technology innovation deputy director general Mmboneni Muofhe

UK, US nuclear groups jointly win UK funding to further develop space micro-reactors

By: Rebecca Campbell     8th April 2024 UK-based global major power and propulsion systems group Rolls-Royce and US-based major nuclear manufacturing and engineering group BWX Technologies (BWXT) have been awarded funding from the UK Space Agency to jointly advance technologies for the new and novel applications of nuclear fission... 

South Africa’s research funding agency celebrates a quarter century of success

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th April 2024 The National Research Foundation (NRF) has highlighted that it celebrated its creation 25 years ago, this week. The NRF is the statutory body that supports and promotes research through the provision of research facilities, funding and human resource development. “The NRF stands proud as one of... 

Varsity, private firm in partnership to develop protocol for production of radiopharmaceuticals

By: Irma Venter     29th March 2024 Stellenbosch University (SU) and high-tech company Enlightened Isotopes, a subsidiary of ASP Isotopes, have entered into an R8.5-million research partnership to develop a protocol for the separation of the ytterbium-176 isotope, to be used as a radiopharmaceutical in cancer therapy. Worldwide,... 

Regulations need to adapt to evolving industry – drone specialist

By: Nadine Ramdass     29th March 2024 A collaborative approach between industry authority the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and drone operators is critical in further easing regulations for new and existing drone operators while achieving airspace safety, says drone-based services specialist RocketDNA quality... 

An image of drone pilot trainees at RocketDNA
TAKING FLIGHT Drone pilot training can range from two to three weeks, based on a trainee’s capabilities

Drones deliver predator bugs for sustainable pest control

29th March 2024 Wine producer Vergelegen wine estate, in Somerset West, has partnered with collaborative venture SkyBugs to test the use of drone-delivered beneficial insects to control pests in its vineyards. SkyBugs, a partnership between integrated pest management provider FieldBUGS and agritech company... 

An image of SkyBUG's drone system for dispersing beneficial insects
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS Drone dispersal ensures more effective distribution and coverage of beneficial insects

Drone potential hindered by regulatory hurdles, lack of funding

By: Nadine Ramdass     29th March 2024 While the South African drone manufacturing sector could increase its participation in the international market, regulatory hurdles, as well as a lack of funding and government support, are some of the challenges hindering market growth. South Africa has relatively positive geopolitical... 

An image of Aerial Monitoring Solutions' Eagle Owl Drone
READY TO LAUNCH South Africa boasts a talented drone manufacturing industry that is impeded by lack of support

Astronomers find 49 new gas-rich galaxies in 3 hours using MeerKAT radio telescope

By: Schalk Burger     28th March 2024 A team of international astronomers have discovered 49 new gas-rich galaxies using the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa from observations under three hours long. The research was aimed at studying the star-forming gas in a single radio galaxy and was led by International Centre for Radio... 

NWU partners with IAEA to boost nutrition in Africa

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th March 2024 South Africa’s North-West University (NWU) has become the lead host institution for Anglophone African countries in a pan-African initiative launched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), intended to build capacity across the continent for scientific research into micronutrients.... 

Metso brings Concorde flotation cell technology to Africa 

27th March 2024 Process and optimisation company Metso has brought its Concorde flotation cell technology to Africa for the first time. Mining Weekly recently attended the launch of the first Concorde cells in Africa at local steel fabricator Betterect in Krugersdorp. Darren Parker tells us more. 

Metso brings Concorde flotation cell technology to Africa
Metso brings Concorde flotation cell technology to Africa

Trust in innovation needs to be built up to change societies, economies

By: Schalk Burger     20th March 2024 Globally and in South Africa, twice as many people are likely to believe that technological innovation is being poorly managed than those who believe it is being managed well. This could have a significant impact as, when institutions mismanaged innovation, there was more rejection and less... 

Company invests in driver, vehicle management systems 

By: Halima Frost     15th March 2024 Specialist transport group Unitrans continues to invest heavily in various event-based in-vehicle management systems (IVMS) to ensure the safety of its drivers, fleet and cargo in its chemical and petrochemicals bulk transport supply chain businesses. “Owing to the significant volatility of its... 

A unitrans tanker at a depot in the setting sun
Unitrans chemicals and explosives transport head Bryce Varner and Unitrans business development: petroleum head Ray Singh discuss compliance and its fleet. Camerawork: Halima Frost. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.02.2024

EOH's shares fall on warnings of further losses, lower operating profit 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th March 2024 Information and communications technology (ICT) group EOH expects to report a lower operating profit and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the six months ended January 31 – the first half of its 2024 financial year. The group's operating profit... 

Person typing on a laptop

Global astronomy conference set for Cape Town has record number of paper submissions

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th March 2024 The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU’s) General Assembly 2024, the first ever to be held in Africa, has received more than 3 000 abstracts, its organising committee has announced. This number was described by the committee as a “milestone”, being the greatest number of abstracts ever... 

UK to fund new joint Anglo-South African scientific cooperation initiative

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th March 2024 South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) have announced a joint programme to institute an international research network that will embrace South Africa, other African countries, and the UK. This network will be funded by UK... 

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