South Africa

Partner 41: (ZA: South Africa) DST - Department of Science and Technology

The DST is the national government authority responsible for science, technology and innovation policy in South Africa (SA). The DST includes among its key activities the development of strategic partnerships / collaborations with the international science and technology (S&T) community; the internationalising/ branding of SA’s S&T capabilities, and improving the quality and depth of information to support development and investment decision-making and driving improvements in the quality of S&T activities against the backdrop of internationally recognized benchmarks. The DST has been responsible over the past decade, in partnership with the European Commission (EC) Directorate-General Research for the coordination, monitoring and promotion of cooperation under the SA-EU Agreement – this has included SA participation in FP4, FP5, FP6 and FP7.
Since 2007, South Africa has participated in more than 200 FP7 projects, and 20 projects already approved in H2020. The projects cover topics such as the prevention and treatment of the major poverty-related communicable diseases such as HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis, improving animal health and food security, and monitoring global change (e.g. Earth observation) and predicting its impact to prepare response strategies in areas such as water sanitation. The partnership on health research is
further strengthened by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), created as a response to the global health crisis caused by the three main poverty-related diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, dis- eases that account for over 6 million deaths each year. South Africa is currently hosting the African EDCTP secretariat at the Medical Research council in Cape Town and leading a number of projects. Space, ICT and social science and the humanities are other strong areas of cooperation. South Africa views global S&T cooperation as essential to addressing challenges such as climate change, diseases and food security. The DST measure the success of its international engagements by looking at how much these engagements have will help both South Africa in addressing these challenges.

The DST is also participating in two ERA-Nets namely: ERA-MIN which is aimed developing partnerships and mechanisms to foster research and development cooperation in the field of industrial production and supply of raw materials amongst the partner countries; and ERAFRICA project which is aimed at establishing a long-term framework for communication, collaboration and coordination of programme owners/managers related to S&T cooperation between Africa and Europe; and Reinforcement of Africa- EU S&T collaboration through the promotion of joint learning by Africa and Europe research programme managers and identification of relevant instruments to effectively address global challenges. The DST is a full partner and plays a role of the African Regional Coordinator for ERAfrica project. The DST is actively involved in the implementation of the 8th thematic Partnership (P8) of the JAES that is dedicated to Science, Information Society and Space, and continues to play a key role within the HLPD, both as an African member of the Bureau of the HLPD and a strategic partner of the Africa- EU partnership. The Department continues to play an active role in Africa through its active participation in AMCOST since its inception in 2003, setting the agenda for STI development in the African continent.