CSIR CEO, Dr Thulani Dlamini, recently hosted Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany’s national research centre, for discussions on potential collaboration opportunities in energy, water, smart agriculture, hydrogen and artificial intelligence.
Prof. Neugebauer was accompanied by: Prof. Arnold van Zyl – President of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (ret.); Prof. Oliver Damm, Senior Advisor South Africa; and Claudia Kasper, Director Corporate Development and Communications.
Dr Dlamini was supported by Dr Lulama Wakaba, Executive Cluster Manager: NextGen Enterprises and Institutions; Dr Happy Sithole, Centre Manager: National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System and Nox Moyake, Communications Manager: Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC).
The delegation met at the CSIR’s CHPC in Cape Town, where presentations on each institution’s mandate and organisational overview were made by the heads. Much time was spent deliberating on how to conduct innovation and development that brings about measurable social and economic impact. This led to discussions about the importance of investing in lawyers that specialise in international intellectual property rights, something that Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has dedicated 15 years to and is currently reaping rewards from. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft now makes €21 from each euro it receives from the German Federal Government.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s High Performance Computing Centre is currently procuring a hybrid supercomputer that consists of a €300 million exascale machine and a €50 million quantum computer, something that the CSIR’s CHPC is very interested in, especially for human capital development and exchange of expertise.
Prof. Neugebauer congratulated Dr Dlamini for having an organised organisation and said he sees several potential points of cooperation around industrial development and that they have a high density of industries through which they can partner and work with the CSIR.
Collaboration areas identified
Several collaboration areas were identified, and an execution plan was initiated. The points of mutual interest included high performance computing and quantum computing, the Square Kilometre Array project, renewable energies, defence and security, health digitisation, as well as human capital development and exchange of expertise.