South Africa – Norway Science Week 2017

A collaboration on building a thriving blue economy

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The event

Team Norway will be hosting South Africa – Norway  Science Week 2017 in Pretoria and Cape Town on the 4th – 8th December.   

The main focus of the event is ocean space, particularly activities such as ship building, ship repairs, smart and green ports, surveillance, education and training for South African sea personnel. Special attention is also given to South African—Norwegian research cooperation in blue economy, climate and environment and polar related matters. 

Background

Norway and South Africa have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership since the early 1990s, both countries have a vested interest in improved education, research, innovation and new business development. Norway is of the strong ethos that South Africa plays an important role in the African  economy with its well-developed infrastructure providing great opportunity in tapping into other markets within the African continent.

South Africa and Norway deem ocean space and the blue economy a strategic priority. The countries often engage in high level consultations with a strong focus on areas of common economic and political interest; these include the SANCOOP –program for research on climate change, environment and renewable energy and Operation Phakisa, aiming to fast-track solutions on critical development issues in South Africa.

The upcoming Science Week is a catalyst for strengthening the cooperation between Norway and  South Africa; based on partnership relations, where developmental priorities are the platform. The two countries share common goals including establishing lasting cooperative relationships between Norwegian and South African partners. The partnership highlights the strides that women are making in Science and Innovation and also shares insights on a novel topic in South Africa such as Antarctica and the importance of a thriving blue economy.

The agenda

Science Week will begin with a concluding conference for South Africa – Norway Research Co-operation (SANCOOP), with leading edge research results on the environment, climate system and climate change impacts on society.  The rest of the week will touch on the Southern Atlantic Ocean and Antarctica and the Sustainable use of the Ocean, which is the main theme of the Science Week. Thereafter, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be hosting Science Forum South Africa 2017 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a major annual event on the African continent. The week will conclude with Team Norway’s Parallel Session on Women in Science and Innovation, a 90 minute session which will be moderated and directed by Heidi M. Dahl, Innovation Norway’s Director for South Africa. This session will address the challenges facing women in science today by collecting relevant research data on gender inequalities as a baseline for discussions. The session will include presenters and panellists such as acclaimed Nuclear Scientist and Entrepreneur in South Africa; Nomso Faith Kana and The Ambassador of The Royal Norwegian Embassy; Trine Skymoen. 

About Team Norway

Team Norway is a partnership of four Norwegian entities: 1) The Norwegian Research Council, serving as the chief advisory body for the government authorities on research policy issues; 2) Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government’s most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry; 3) The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education, a public Norwegian agency promoting international cooperation in education and research; and 4) the Royal Norwegian Embassy, represented by Ambassador Trine Skymoen.

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