Minister Pandor attends Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, Ireland
11 Jul 2012Today, South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, flies to Dublin, Ireland, to attend the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), which takes place from 11 to 15 July 2012.
ESOF is Europe's largest meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation. It is held every second year in a major European city, attracting delegates ranging from top researchers in the natural and social sciences and business leaders, to senior government representatives and science journalists.
Its objectives are to showcase the latest advances in science and technology, promote dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy, and stimulate public interest in and debate about science and technology.
Minister Pandor's schedule in Dublin includes participating in three conference sessions organised by the South African Department of Science and Technology.
A scramble for Africa's natural resources or knowledge economy partnerships (Science programme).
Taking place in the Liffey B on Thursday, 12 July, from 13:15 to 14:45, this session will critically examine how science and technology can inform the development of more sustainable and mutually beneficial natural resource partnerships between Africa and its international partners. The session will be chaired by Dr Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, and speakers will include leading policy experts and experienced practitioners in the field of Africa-EU cooperation, such as Dr Alan Belward of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Prof. Roseanne Diab of the Academy of Science of South Africa, Dr Patrice Christmann of the Office of Geological and Mineral Research in France, and Prof. John Mugabe of the University of Pretoria. Economies worldwide are dependent on the export of many of Africa's natural resources, while several African governments are determined to develop their own knowledge economies. The session will consider the role science and technology can play for these objectives to be reconciled, advancing sustainable development.
Science without borders (Science programme)
Taking place in Wicklow Hall 2A on Friday, 13 July, from 10:45 to 12:15, this session will consider why international cooperation in science and technology has become imperative and how such partnerships can best be advanced. Chaired by Prof. John Wood, Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the eminent panel of speakers includes Minister Pandor, Prof. Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, and Dr Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They will respectively present African, Pacific, European and North American perspectives on drivers for international research and innovation partnerships, as well as recommendations on how these should be promoted for global scientific and socio-economic advancement.
How can you turn astronomy into business clusters (Science-2-Business programme)
Taking place in Wicklow Hall 1 on Saturday, 14 July, from 08:00 to 09:30, this session will consider how industrial spin-off and technology commercialisation opportunities can best be leveraged from investment in astronomy. The session will be chaired by Pallab Ghosh, BBC Science Correspondent, and introduced by Minister Pandor and Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Speakers will include Mmboneni Muofhe of the South African Department of Science and Technology, Dr Ronald Stark of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and Dr Gerlinde Bedoe of Nokia Siemens Networks, who will respectively present the perspectives of government, a research funding organisation and industry on how astronomy can best be harnessed as driver for innovation. Dr Michiel van Haarlem, Interim Director-General of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation, responsible for the SKA radio telescope project, will present the perspective of a large-scale global research infrastructure project. The goal of the session is to identify possible best practices for using astronomy to boost the development of business clusters.
In addition to these three sessions, Minister Pandor will participate as speaker in the ESOF2012 Africa and Europe Partnership Symposium: Science for Economic Development, taking place in the Auditorium on Saturday, 14 July 2012, from 10h45 to 12h15.
South Africa will have an information booth at the ESOF2012 exhibition (stand number 10), which will disseminate information on opportunities for research and innovation partnerships between South Africa and Europe, particularly those for European researchers to participate in South Africa's national research and innovation programmes. See www.saccess-project.eu to find out more about these opportunities.
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Issued by: Department of Science and Technology
11 Jul 2012
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