A year-long joint venture between Germany and South Africa that show-cases research cooperation between the two countries is now under way.
The German–South African Year of Science 2012/13, which was officially launched at a two-day event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, recently will highlight research cooperation in seven specified areas, namely astronomy, bioeconomics, humanities and social science, human capital development, innovation in the health industry, climate change and urbanisation.
German Education and Research Minister, Professor Annette Schavan attended the event with South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. “Our goal is to share the weight of global responsibilities and to prepare the way for sustainable innovation,” Schavan said at the ceremony.
Pandor emphasised the importance of these types of joint activities. “South Africa has keenly pursued the development of regional, continental and global partnerships to identify solutions to our socioeconomic challenges.”
The ceremony hosted representatives from the political and science communities of both countries and included a tour of the exhibition organised by the partners of the Year of Science initiative and a visit to the astronomy symposium, entitled ‘Innovating the Future; Reaching for the Stars’.
At a joint press conference following the opening ceremony, both ministers stated their expectations for the year ahead. “We hope this joint effort will provide impetus for pioneering projects and future innovation,” said Pandor.
Over 200 scientists from both countries have submitted proposals for initiatives to Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research and South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, as part of the German–South African Year of Science.
Of these, 41 representing the seven thematic fields were jointly selected and will receive funding.