Pretoria - Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande and Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the CSIR and its Belgian counterpart Vito to strengthen bilateral co-operation in science and innovation.
As Nzimande and Jambon demonstrated political will, CSIR chief executive Dr Thulani Dlamini and Vito director Bruno Reyntjens signed on dotted lines to continue the partnership that dates back to 1996.
The political principals were taken on a tour of the CSIR Solar PV Reliability Laboratory and Coin Cell Testing Facility/Hydrogen Research Laboratory at the CSIR in Pretoria. The tour included a project funded by the Flemish government to establish an indoor battery testing facility at the CSIR.
Nzimande said the partnership was focusing on research and innovation in a number of areas of common interest such as hydrogen energy, marine sciences, other areas of co-operation as well as digital technology.
"To put it simply, in the language that will be understood, is working towards alternate sources of energy among other things that we are co-operating about.
“We have very deep relationships with the Flanders government in science and technology, and some of the activities we are seeing here are also part of the co-operation, and even funded by the Flanders and the Belgian government. That is why we took them here to come and see,” said Nzimande.