How to Promote Photonics Industries in Africa

How to Promote Photonics Industries in Africa 2016-11-07T08:54:06+00:00

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Moderator: Dr Ndumiso Cingo, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Andrew Forbes, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Panellist: Ms Nontombi Marule, Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
Panellist: Ms Senisha Moonsamy, Technology Innovation Agency, South Africa
Panellist: Mr Delon Mudaly, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Panellist: Prof Ahmadou Wague, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal
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South Africa has a vibrant photonics community that has grown over the years, but the good research being done has not been sufficiently translated into the innovation realm to build internationally competitive photonics industries.

SA has the necessary expertise, particularly in terms of laser science and technology, some established facilities and the potential to build a strong photonics industry. Photonics is multi-disciplinary, an enabler for numerous other sectors, and was one of the six key enabling technologies defined by the European Union (EU). Extensive growth in the global photonics market has been taking place over the last few years.

The recently developed Photonics Roadmap of South Africa addresses the four potential areas to be pursued (Systems, Sensors and Sources, Renewable Energy (particularly home grown PV panels), Industrial Manufacturing and Life Sciences and Health). There are opportunities to grow the Lighting and Displays, ICT and Emerging Technologies photonics sectors.

Challenges include market penetration and skills/capacity development. It was resolved that the photonics community needs to work together to resolve existing problems and PISA (Photonics Initiative of South Africa) needs to be revived as a representative body for the broad photonics community.

2015 was the International Year of Light. NSTF and CSIR jointly hosted a stakeholder discussion forum on Innovation in Light-based Technologies (DST-sponsored) to showcase what photonics, additive manufacturing and solar power R&D are being done in SA, and explore the potential for emerging industries in these areas. This session is a follow-up on these earlier discussions. The session will mainly focus on photonics and how to stimulate related industries. The revival of PISA will be discussed, recommendations from the IYL discussion forum will be shared, as well as any further developments that have taken place since the discussion forum.

This session is for anyone who is in photonics-related research, interested in promoting photonics industries in SA, physics students and researchers, anyone interested in light-based technologies, the dti and IDC employees and stakeholders, and for anyone interested in innovation.
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cingoDr Ndumiso Cingo
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Moderator

Currently the Manager for Innovation at the CSIR, since August 2014, and the current Board Chairperson of African Laser Centre, a network of African Research Institutions involved in laser and related research. From 2009-2014, he was Centre Manager of the CSIR National Laser Centre, research centre dedicated to excellence in laser research and related applications. He is the former Chairperson of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa (PISA), a research-community driven and government-supported initiative to foster the coordinated development of photonics in South Africa. He is also the former Chair of the South African Nanotechnology Initiative, and co-founder of the Black Science, Technology and Engineering Professionals Organization. During 2012-2013, Dr Cingo was member of the International Steering Committee of the International Year of Light Initiative, which successfully lobbied the United Nations to declare 2015 the International Year of Light. Dr Cingo currently serves as Interim-Chair of the Board of Ukuqonda Institute, an NGO dedicated to promotion of excellence in mathematics and physical science education in South Africa. In 2013-2015, he was a member of the Council of Vaal University of Technology. Dr Cingo obtained a BSc (Ed) degree in 1992 from North West University, majoring in Physics and Chemistry, BSc (Hons) degree from the same institution, pecializing in Chemistry, and a PhD in Chemistry from Ohio University, which he obtained in 1998, where he worked on developing IR sensors for bio-analytical and remote-sensing applications. He later took up a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Massachusetts Medical School, developing fibre-optic spectroscopic sensors for medical applications. He previously held academic positions at University of South Africa in 2001-2006, and Tshwane University of Technology in 2006-2009.
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forbesProf Andrew Forbes
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Panellist

Andrew received his PhD (1998) from the University of Natal and subsequently spent several years working as an applied laser physicist, first for the SA Atomic Energy Corporation and then later in a private laser company where he was Technical Director. In 2004 he joined the CSIR National Laser Centre where he was Chief Researcher and Research Group Leader of Mathematical Optics. In March 2015 Andrew joined the University of the Witwatersrand on the Distinguished Professor programme and has established a new laboratory for Structured Light. Andrew chairs many international conferences and committees, and serves on the editorial board of two optics journals. He is active in promoting photonics in SA, a founding member of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa, a Fellow of SPIE and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2015 Andrew was given the NSTF Photonics award for his contributions to photonics. Andrew spends his time having fun with the taxpayers’ money, continuing his love affair with laser beams and resonators, digital holography, orbital angular momentum and quantum optics.
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maruleMs Nontombi Marule
Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
Panellist

Nontombi Marule is the Director of Innovation and Technology Policy at the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Her responsibilities include the development of policies & strategies as well as the introduction of incentives and support instruments for technology development and commercialisation for the promotion of enterprise competitiveness and industrialisation. Her division also focuses on strengthening the conditions for the development of high-growth, technology-based enterprises and promoting collaborative efforts of knowledge generators and innovators. She previously worked at the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as a Deputy Director: Emerging Research Areas. At the DST she drove programmes designed for policy implementation and stakeholder management. She was responsible for the implementation of the National Nanotechnology Strategy and development of the National Strategy for Photonics. These programmes safeguarded the development of the research platforms, necessary human capital and state-of-the-art infrastructure within the aforementioned fields. Prior to joining the DST, she was part of the radio-analytical scientists’ team at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) for more than five years.
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moonsamyMs Senisha Moonsamy
Technology Innovation Agency, South Africa
Panellist

Senisha has been passionate about developing the future youth of SA and Africa and believes through strengthening their critical thinking skills (underlying premise for innovation to occur) in order to progress technology from applied research through to pre commercialisation. Senisha has been in skills development for the past 16 years. She is currently Head of Innovation Skills Development at the Technology Innovation Agency, has raised in excess of R30M over 3 years from co funding/ investment from both local and international partners for skills development and enterprise development within the National System of Innovation (viz. NRF; EW Seta; MICT Seta; Nunnovation; SATN; Skills Book; The UK Newton Fund; British Council; Royal Academy; Swiss Embassy University of Basel; Institute for Leadership Development ; The Innovation Board American University and Standford and The International Skills Development Trust.
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mudalyMr Delon Mudaly
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Panellist

Delon has 16 years of hands on experience working in the National System of Innovation (NSI). He has been at the CSIR from 2007 where he played an active role in managing the following portfolios:

  • Contract manager for the Titanium Centre of Competence towards establishing a titanium industry in South Africa, including upstream and downstream manufacturing processes.
  • CSIR contract manager for the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA): Infrastructure Centre of Competence, to develop systems for hydrogen production and storage.
  • The development of medical devices, sensors and information systems to provide Point of Care (PoC) assistance to the public healthcare system.
  • The development of solutions for water treatment, detection of contaminants as well as information systems to provide solution for effective water management.
  • The development of sensors, sensor devices and information systems that provide condition and diagnostic information to infrastructure owners and operators, comprising electro-optical power line inspection systems; railway line break and defect detection systems; and road management and maintenance systems.

Delon has also been responsible for the management of technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) at the CSIR. He has undertaken several licensing deals with industrial partners and has participated in the start-up of several CSIR new ventures.

Delon has an MTech and BTech in Biotechnology, a B.Sc in Biochemistry & Microbiology, and several business management qualifications.
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wagueProf Ahmadou Wague
Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal
Panellist

Ph.D university Lomonossov Moscow state university at the nuclear research institute. Docteur d’Etat Atomic physics centre de physique Atomique Toulouse France. Président LAM Network : African laser atomic molecular and optical science Network. Founding membre and board of Directeur of ALC: African laser centre in Pretoria. Coordinator of ICTP Affiliated Centre University Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar Senegal. Vice President of ICO the international commission of Optics. IUPAP liaison in Senegal former Secretary of IUPAP C13 commission. Member of Tsosa committee at ICTP Trieste Italy. Directeur of Apply Nuclear Technology Institute in Senegal during 12 years.
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