Since 1996 they have enjoyed mutual collaboration in the fields of science and technology. Germany has a great deal to offer in the fields of technology and applied sciences. South Africa, for its part, is a research location of unprecedented value, for weighty issues that people are working on all over the world – water, climate, energy, biodiversity, health and education – are present in South Africa in concentrated form.
Both countries are underlining the special significance of their collaboration by organising the German- South African Year of Science 2012/2013, which was initiated by the German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Annette Schavan, and the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, on April 16 2012.
The goals of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013
The German-South African Year of Science 2012/13 aims to achieve the greatest possible degree of cooperation between these two centres of scientific endeavour. Germany and South Africa want to assume joint responsibility for tackling global challenges and, with this in mind, are determined to intensify their communication and cooperation.
The Year of Science objectives
To emphasise the diversity and excellence of the German- South African initiatives and projects in the fields of research and technology for the purpose of promoting Germany and South Africa as centres of innovation vis-à-vis research-conscious institutions and companies in the two countries.
To establish a new quality of bilateral cooperation, for example by setting up new partnerships between German and South African research institutions, universities, colleges and companies, as well as intensified collaborative arrangements between ministries and intermediary and support organisations.
To intensify the exchange of views, insights and information between young scientists in the two countries.
Thematic areas of the Year of Science
The discussions between the Department of Science and Technology and its German counterparts culminated in agreement on the following thematic areas to be highlighted during the Year of Science:
- Climate change
- Human capital development
- Health innovation
- Social sciences and humanities
- Urbanisation and megacities
Furthermore, the Year of Science incorporates some existing activities that are on the Department's annual calendar of events, such as the Women in Science Awards.
The 2012 Women in Science Awards seeks to recognise women who have performed exceptionally well in various fields of science.
The awards were presented to the winners on August 24 2012 at a gala dinner in Centurion, hosted by Minister Pandor