Updated: Feb 20
The South African Nanotechnology Symposium’s first session was under the theme of Policy and Regulatory Environment. The objective of the session was to highlight the policy and regulatory environment including the development of standards necessary to support research development and innovation in nano technology.
The first speaker at the Symposium, Dr Xolani Makhoba from the Department of Science and Innovation covered progress made by the Department in the field on Nanotechnology. South Africa’s interest in nanotechnology is not a recent engagement. The first government strategy in the field was the National Nanotechnology Strategy 2006. In order to focus this strategy more directly on research and innovation, the Department of Science and Technology adopted the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 10-year research plan which ends in April 2020.
The Research Plan set the objective for human capital development of 400 Masters Students, 50 Doctoral Students and 150 research publications in the sector of nanotechnology. The objectives have been exceeded with 418 Masters students and close to 400 Doctoral students with over 1000 papers published. It is clear that South Africa has identified the potential for nanotechnology and is moving to capitalise on it.
Nanotechnology is emerging technology that could present significant benefits for South Africa in various sectors including but certainly not limited to, agriculture, energy, mining and health. Nanotechnology is an exciting and rapidly developing sector in South Africa, and we will continue to monitor the developments.