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Introducing the new CSIR strategy and identity

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For 75 years, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, has been guided by its mandate, which is to conduct directed multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that fosters industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of South Africans.

Africa’s premier research, development and innovation organisation intends to not only be relevant to societal priorities, but also to be a catalyst of economic growth and transformation, to foster the sustainability of South African enterprises and strive to achieve impact.

The organisation is committed to advancements in science, engineering, technology, innovation, and the resultant positive transformation brought about by the accelerated introduction of fourth industrial revolution technologies. In 2019, the organisation adopted a new strategy aimed at supporting industrial development in the country; to ensure that it makes a greater impact when building and growing industries in South Africa and, consequently, the economy; this, while continuing with its strong focus on serving the needs of the public sector and generating knowledge for public good.

The CSIR has identified nine clusters through which it is best positioned to drive the country’s industrialisation. These have been selected based on national priorities, potential for socioeconomic impact and the contribution of transformation technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. They include industry advancement clusters, such as agriculture and food, health, mining, manufacturing, chemicals, defence and security, as well as industry and society-enabling clusters, such as smart places, smart mobility, and next-generation enterprises and institutions.

Some outputs from these clusters include an array of novel inventions, such as smart sensors developed to monitor indoor airborne-infection risk; defence and security capabilities for South Africa’s borders and fostering cyber-secure platforms to conduct business; as well as the award-winning rhino poaching surveillance system currently in use at the Kruger National Park. These are examples of some of our technologies that are ready for commercialisation and require industry partners.

A new identity to reflect our vision

Identity is everything. With the new strategy, the CSIR went through a brand refreshing exercise to ensure that its corporate identity is in line with the new strategy objective: to ensure the equal importance of industrial and scientific development in its innovation portfolio.

The strategy is underpinned by four pillars, which will guide us in our pursuit to conduct research to enable a capable state. These four pillars are growth, sustainability, impact and relevance. They bring alignment between responding to our mandate and addressing internal organisational imperatives.

Our new vision is “We are accelerators of socioeconomic prosperity in South Africa through leading innovation” and it is supported by a new mission, objectives and values for the organisation. Our mission is to collaboratively innovate and localise technologies while providing knowledge solutions for the inclusive and sustainable advancement of industry and society. Our core values are EPIC! The CSIR pursues Excellence, celebrates People, personifies Integrity and welcomes Collaboration.

“The strategy presents a growth opportunity focusing on industrial development in South Africa. For this reason, the CSIR will continue to underpin its innovation in support of industrial performance, service delivery and sound science,” – Dr Thulani Dlamini, CSIR Chief Executive Officer

The CSIR understands that continuity and easy association with our brand is important. Therefore, in developing the new logo, we kept our main blue colour to indicate the continuity of a regal, steady, reliable and solid CSIR brand. The letters “CSIR” were separated and the “I” was amplified to give equal importance to both the science and industrial pillars, as part of the new strategic direction and in alignment to the CSIR’s mandate.

An icon with human figures in a partially tilted circle was added to symbolise the value of being a people-centred organisation, the commitment to improving the quality of life of South Africans, collaboration and the continuity of the CSIR’s innovations. The colours of the South African flag symbolise prosperity, diversity and unity, and show the CSIR’s patriotism. These also serve as a way of differentiating CSIR South Africa from similarly named international science councils.

The new positioning statement “Touching lives through innovation” summarises the essence of the organisation as set out in the new strategy and in line with our mandate of deploying science and technology to improve the lives of South Africans.

For more information on collaborating with or about the CSIR, please contact:

Tel: 012 841 2911

Email: [email protected]


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