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News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.engineeringnews.co.za

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor reported on Monday that the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) has made significant progress in developing the country's next Earth observation (EO) satellite. She was giving the keynote address at the opening of the thirty-seventh International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment, at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria. "Sansa is in the final stages of the development of an optical EO satellite to support food security and disaster management across the continent," she said. "The optical satellite is a key part of South Africa's contributions to a broader continental effort to leverage the potential of space for development. Sansa and other South African science-based organisations are primed to support the African space programme." Pandor also reported that Sansa had recently completed its new strategic framework for the next five years. "It positions the agency as a provider of space-based products and services through co-development with partners in the region and throughout the African continent. The Earth-observation-based products and services support the strengthening of country planning and evidence-based policy formulation throughout the continent." She emphasised the importance of Earth observation for South Africa. "We use satellite imagery extensively in South Africa to support the different legislative mandates of government. The socioeconomic benefits of satellite imagery in planning and decision-making have long been recognised globally." She cited the example of satellite imagery from the SPOT satellite; Sansa uses this to create a natural-colour mosaic covering the whole land area of South Africa, every year. "The mosaic, together with its underlying base imagery, is provided without charge to national government departments, provincial government departments, parastatals, NGOs [nongovernmental organisations], science councils and tertiary education institutions. A single licence multi-user agreement which was negotiated by Sansa ensures affordable use of such imagery." She hailed the recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Sansa and the Nepad Agency. "[W]e were absolutely thrilled when Sansa signed and MoU with Nepad," she asserted. "The MoU enables Sansa to provide Earth observation products and services that support the implementation of key programmes such as sustainable agriculture and food security, integrated water resources management, sustainable forestry management, as well as urban planning and infrastructure monitoring." She highlighted that the Nepad 2025 Vision on the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative and the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative were all dependent on spatial decision support systems for success. In turn, Sansa's satellite remote sensing-based products and services "play a fundamental role in aiding [the] spatial decision support systems".


Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ICASA, OPIC, IFC, Microsoft Corporation, HP Enterprise, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and more set to speak at leading spectrum sharing conference Cape Town, South Africa, 20 April 2017: With three weeks to go until the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit, which is this year returning to Africa, co-host ICASA, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, has published draft regulations on the use of TV White Space (TVWS) in the region. The draft regulations, which are open for public consultation until 19 May 2017, highlight the progress South Africa is making in enabling affordable Internet through dynamic spectrum access. These draft regulations – which the DSA fully welcomes - and technologies will be discussed at the DSA Global Summit, taking place in Cape Town between 9 to 11 May 2017, where a whole host of leading industry figures and regulators from around the world have been announced to speak, including the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). “In the past, exclusive licenses for specific frequency bands and specific purposes dominated spectrum allocation policy and regulations,” said Pakamile Kayakethu Pongwana, CEO of ICASA. “While these models are good for monetizing the spectrum and for coordination between multiple services and operators to avoid interference, they often result in underutilization of spectrum. In the last decade, however, governments and regulators around the world have embraced the concept of ‘spectrum commons’ as another way to bring citizens innovation on new wireless technologies.” The event will open on 9 May with a full day regulator workshop on spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum access. Alongside ICASA, other regulators in attendance will include Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA), Agência Nacional del Espectro (ANE), the Ministry of Communications for Argentina and Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (ANATEL). Day one of the Global Summit will be opened with keynote addresses from Kalpak Gude, President of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, and ICASA CEO, Pakamile Kayalethu Pongwana, followed by panel sessions on spectrum sharing and enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) through dynamic access technologies. The latter panel will feature Dr. F. Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa, where he leads research on dynamic spectrum access. His perspective on how to connect underserved populations in emerging economies will add another dimension to the panel, which also includes Facebook, University of Strathclyde, and VistaLifeSciences Inc. A panel session on closing the digital divide will address financial challenges associated with large-scale network deployments, with speakers including: Mr. Alexander Hadden, Director, Structured Finance & Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); Mr. Chikioke Egejuru, Investment Analysis, International Finance Corporation; Mr. Lumko Mtimde, CEO, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) and will be moderated by Mr. Frank McCosker, General Manager, Affordable Access & Smart Financing, Microsoft Corporation. Other confirmed speakers on day one include Ira Keltz, Deputy Chief of Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who will join the panel on Wi-Fi for the 5G World. On the final day of the Summit, Ira will start with a keynote address, before joining the Regulator Leadership Summit later in the day. ICASA CEO Pongwana will return to speak on day two of the Summit to speak on a panel titled Creating Opportunities for Deployment, which will be moderated by Emeritus Executive Director of the DSA, Prof. H Sama Nwana. The panel will bring together policy makers to discuss challenges and solutions to establishing regulatory frameworks for enabling investment in infrastructure – something that is crucial to bridging the digital divide in South Africa, and around the world. Other speakers confirmed on the agenda include representatives from: Facebook, Adaptrum Inc., C3 Limited, the Communications Authority of Kenya, Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) and New American Foundation. Platinum sponsors of this year’s event include Microsoft and Nominet. Gold sponsors include Adaptrum Inc. and MBC, while MedyaCity is a Silver sponsor. To secure your place at the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa (9-11 May 2017), visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dynamic-spectrum-alliance-2017-global-summit-tickets-28614617090. To view the full Summit agenda, visit: http://dynamicspectrumalliance.org/global-summit/agenda/. About the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is a global organization advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilization. The DSA’s membership spans multinationals, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and academic, research, and other organizations from around the world, all working to create innovative solutions that will increase the amount of available spectrum to the benefit of consumers and businesses alike. For further information about the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, please visit www.dynamicspectrumalliance.org/, or follow @dynamicspectrum on Twitter. Alternatively join the Alliance on Facebook or LinkedIn. Media Contact For all media enquiries, please contact Sian Borrill by emailing sian.borrill@proactive-pr.com.


CAPE TOWN, South Africa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With three weeks to go until the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit, which is this year returning to Africa, co-host ICASA, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, has published draft regulations on the use of TV White Space (TVWS) in the region. The draft regulations, which are open for public consultation until 19 May 2017, highlight the progress South Africa is making in enabling affordable Internet through dynamic spectrum access. These draft regulations – which the DSA fully welcomes - and technologies will be discussed at the DSA Global Summit, taking place in Cape Town between 9 to 11 May 2017, where a whole host of leading industry figures and regulators from around the world have been announced to speak, including the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). “In the past, exclusive licenses for specific frequency bands and specific purposes dominated spectrum allocation policy and regulations,” said Pakamile Kayakethu Pongwana, CEO of ICASA. “While these models are good for monetizing the spectrum and for coordination between multiple services and operators to avoid interference, they often result in underutilization of spectrum. In the last decade, however, governments and regulators around the world have embraced the concept of ‘spectrum commons’ as another way to bring citizens innovation on new wireless technologies.” The event will open on 9 May with a full day regulator workshop on spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum access. Alongside ICASA, other regulators in attendance will include Korea Radio Promotion Association (RAPA), Agência Nacional del Espectro (ANE), the Ministry of Communications for Argentina and Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (ANATEL). Day one of the Global Summit will be opened with keynote addresses from Kalpak Gude, President of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, and ICASA CEO, Pakamile Kayalethu Pongwana, followed by panel sessions on spectrum sharing and enabling the Internet of Things (IoT) through dynamic access technologies. The latter panel will feature Dr. F. Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa, where he leads research on dynamic spectrum access. His perspective on how to connect underserved populations in emerging economies will add another dimension to the panel, which also includes Facebook, University of Strathclyde, and VistaLifeSciences Inc. A panel session on closing the digital divide will address financial challenges associated with large-scale network deployments, with speakers including: Mr. Alexander Hadden, Director, Structured Finance & Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); Mr. Chikioke Egejuru, Investment Analysis, International Finance Corporation; Mr. Lumko Mtimde, CEO, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) and will be moderated by Mr. Frank McCosker, General Manager, Affordable Access & Smart Financing, Microsoft Corporation. Other confirmed speakers on day one include Ira Keltz, Deputy Chief of Policy and Rules Division, Office of Engineering and Technology, US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who will join the panel on Wi-Fi for the 5G World. On the final day of the Summit, Ira will start with a keynote address, before joining the Regulator Leadership Summit later in the day. ICASA CEO Pongwana will return to speak on day two of the Summit to speak on a panel titled Creating Opportunities for Deployment, which will be moderated by Emeritus Executive Director of the DSA, Prof. H Sama Nwana. The panel will bring together policy makers to discuss challenges and solutions to establishing regulatory frameworks for enabling investment in infrastructure – something that is crucial to bridging the digital divide in South Africa, and around the world. Other speakers confirmed on the agenda include representatives from: Facebook, Adaptrum Inc., C3 Limited, the Communications Authority of Kenya, Aruba (a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company) and New American Foundation. Platinum sponsors of this year’s event include Microsoft and Nominet. Gold sponsors include Adaptrum Inc. and MBC, while MedyaCity is a Silver sponsor. To secure your place at the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Fifth Annual Global Summit in Cape Town, South Africa (9-11 May 2017), visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dynamic-spectrum-alliance-2017-global-summit-tickets-28614617090. To view the full Summit agenda, visit: http://dynamicspectrumalliance.org/global-summit/agenda/. The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is a global organization advocating for laws and regulations that will lead to more efficient and effective spectrum utilization. The DSA’s membership spans multinationals, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and academic, research, and other organizations from around the world, all working to create innovative solutions that will increase the amount of available spectrum to the benefit of consumers and businesses alike. For further information about the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, please visit www.dynamicspectrumalliance.org/, or follow @dynamicspectrum on Twitter. Alternatively join the Alliance on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2012

Food security is a major concern for all countries in the face of population increase and diminishing energy and water supplies. Over one billion people in low and middle income countries suffer from malnutrition. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, it is essential to reduce post harvest losses, including in the fisheries sector. The overall objectives of SECUREFISH are to strengthen capacity in low cost technology; to improve the preservation of existing fish supplies; to utilise waste and bycatch to produce value-added products; to develop an integrated quality management tool and finally to test the developed technology and quality management tool in different real third country conditions. There are six work packages (WP). WP1 will ensure the efficient management of the project. WP2 will develop low cost innovative processing tools based on traditional technology for preserving fish including a solar tunnel drier, a modified solar assisted extruder and fast freezing/ continuous atmosphere freeze-drier (CAFD). In WP3, underutilised bycatch and waste by-products of fish processing will be recovered and converted to high value products. WP4 will develop an effective total quality management tool (safety and risk assessment; HACCP quality cost and traceability, nutritional and eating quality and carbon footprint) of three fish product chains (solar dried, extruded and frozen/CAFD) which will be tailored to suit local needs. The technological advances (WP2) and quality management tool (WP4) will be evaluated in the three fish product chain case studies in Africa (Kenya, Namibia, Ghana), Asia (India and Malaysia) and Latin America (Argentina) to include different economic, cultural and social conditions. The case studies involve stakeholders including SMEs to ensure sustained implementation of project results. WP6 details a strategy for education, training and dissemination to widely promote the results and guidelines.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: INCO.2012-1.1 | Award Amount: 4.50M | Year: 2013

In 2007, heads of state and government from Africa and Europe launched the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) formulated in response to geopolitical changes, globalisation and the processes of integration in Africa and Europe. At the heart of the JAES is an overtly political relationship and among the features distinguishing JAES from previous Africa-Europe policy initiatives is the associated action plan addressing eight priority areas for Africa-Europe cooperation. The contribution of scientific and technological research, development and innovation, and the centrality of capacity research for economic and social growth and poverty alleviation, and for addressing global societal challenges of mutual interest is explicit. The value of cooperation between the continents is central and under JAES has already led to significant achievements for mutual benefit. CAAST-Net Plus objectives encourage more and better bi-regional STI cooperation for enhanced outcomes around topics of mutual interest, and particularly in relation to the global societal challenges of climate change, food security and health. CAAST-Net Plus actions rely on bi-regional dialogue among stakeholders for gathering informed opinion and experience about the bi-regional cooperation process, formulating and disseminating it in such a way as to be admissible to the formal bi-regional STI policy dialogue process and to programme owners. Through informing the bi-regional policy dialogue for mutual learning and awareness, through building support for coordinated and innovative approaches to bilateral funding of bi-regional cooperation around global challenges, brokering the public-private relationship to foster improved uptake and translation of bi-regional research partnership outputs into innovative technologies, good and services, and through dedicated mechanisms to encourage bi-regional research partnerships, CAAST-Net Plus will make invaluable contributions to the quality and scope of the Africa-Europe STI relationship for mutual benefit.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.1.5.1 | Award Amount: 4.66M | Year: 2010

Africa is probably the most vulnerable continent to climate change and climate variability and shows diverse range of agro-ecological and geographical features. Thus the impacts of climate change can be very high and will greatly differ across the continent, and even within countries. There is a urgent need for the most appropriate and up-to-date tools to better understand and predict climate change, assess its impact on African ecosystems and population, and develop the correct adaptation strategies. In particular the current proposal will focus on the following specific objectives: 1- Develop improved climate predictions on seasonal to decadal climatic scales, especially relevant to SSA; 2- Assess climate impacts in key sectors of SSA livelihood and economy, especially water resources and agriculture; 3- Evaluate the vulnerability of ecosystems and civil population to inter-annual variations and longer trends (10 years) in climate; 4- Suggest and analyse new suited adaptation strategies, focused on local needs; 5- Develop a new concept of 10 years monitoring and forecasting warning system, useful for food security, risk management and civil protection in SSA; 6- Analyse the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture and water resources in SSA and the cost-effectiveness of potential adaptation measures. This objectives will be achieved by an integrated working approach that involves 9 European, 8 African and 1 International Organization.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2012

Cassava and yam are important food security crops for approximately 700 million people. Post-harvest losses are significant and come in the three forms: (a) physical; (b) economic through discounting or processing into low value products and (c) from bio-wastes. This project aims to reduce these losses to enhance the role that these crops play in food and income security. Post-harvest physical losses are exceptionally high (ca. 30% in cassava and 60% in yam) and occur throughout the food chain. Losses in economic value are also high (e.g. cassava prices discounted by up to 85% within a couple of days of harvest). Wastes come in various forms e.g. peeling losses can be 15-20%. Waste often has no economic value which can make processing a marginal business proposition. South-south learning is a feature of the project with partners in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Cassava and yam are contrasting in terms of their use and these differences will contribute to developing a comprehensive approach to reducing losses. Technologies and systems will be developed, validated, demonstrated and disseminated that focus benefits on small-holder households whilst offering increased income earning opportunities through SME development and links to large scale industry. These contribute to the comprehensiveness of the approach, and provide diverse learning opportunities and allow examination of losses in a wider food security context. There are 3 impact pathways: 1. reduction of physical losses focussing on fresh yams storage 2. value added processing reducing physical and economic losses in yam and cassava. 3. improved utilisation of wastes (peels, liquid waste, spent brewery waste) producing products for human consumption including snack foods, mushrooms and animal feed. Cross-cutting are issues of food safety, enterprise development and practical demonstration. It is aimed to validate technologies capable of reducing losses by an equivalent of at least 50%


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2013.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 2.88M | Year: 2014

MNEmerge Project aims to address the issues raised in this call together with a consortium that consists of top European universities, international organisations and multinational enterprises. We wish to provide a comprehensive framework, case study methodology and policy analysis of the activities of MNE and organisations operating in- and outside of EU. We are mostly interested on activities that take part in India, Brazil and Africa. The consortium has been an active contributor to the multinationals research and it has expertise on studying societal problems in emerging markets. The research will be carried out by an international, interdisciplinary team, involving researchers from Finnish, British and Dutch institutes. The issues studied in this project are varied but there is a common thread uniting all of its sub-themes; namely they all relate to how MNE activities in terms of one of the following: FDI, business functioning, technology and innovation strategies, corporate philanthropy or socially responsible investment, can contribute to the attainment of poverty alleviation, food security, health security and environmental security, which are intimately interlinked. The objectives of the project are: 1. Development of a framework to analyse MNE impact towards socio-economic development 2. Development of a model that describes the relationship between MNE, FDI and the economy 3. Role of public policies in supporting responsible business practises and the Millennium Declaration Goals 4. Case Studies to support the methodological framework model on health, environment and energy We identify modes of MNE collaboration with other societal stakeholders including the State, which permit the business sustainability while ensuring sustainable development of society as a whole with the environment being a passive stakeholder. We will also develop tools and aids for decision making that can facilitate the implementation of the aforesaid recommendations.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SFS-06-2014 | Award Amount: 1.78M | Year: 2015

PROIntensAfrica intends to develop a proposal for a long term research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa, focusing on the improvement of the food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers by exploring and exploiting the diversity of pathways to sustainable intensification of African agro-food systems. The exploration will include environmental, economic and social externalities along the whole value chains. PROIntensAfrica has the ambition to formulate a research and innovation agenda, identifying the domains in need for further research to realize the potential of African food systems. In addition, PROIntensAfrica will suggest governance mechanisms that are effective in supporting the partnership. Key is the perception that pooling resources is the best way to align existing and initiate new research. This perception follows the policy of the EC, where instruments of joint programming like ERA-NET, JPI and article 185 aim to accomplish synergy and increase the effectiveness of resources. Pooling resources goes beyond the scientific domain and reaches into the policy domain. Consequently, besides being rooted in sound and challenging research, a partnership proposal needs to meet national and international policies to fly. Therefore PROIntensAfrica pay specific attention to engage with the policy domain, as exemplified by the intended creation of a policy support group. The rationale of the project is that a variety of pathways leads to sustainable intensification of African food systems. Different pathways are advocated in literature. High-input farming systems, for example, contrast with organic farming systems, each with their own supporters and criticasters. It is the conviction of the PROIntensAfrica consortium that moving beyond that debate will open exciting new pathways, and that combining elements of different systems will yield innovative systems that are optimally adapted to specific contexts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.4-01 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2012

The project will develop environmentally appropriate and socio-economically sustainable biotechnological processes for converting biodegradable fractions of identified African and Mediterranean agricultural and industrial waste as well as fractions of municipal and animal solid waste into food, feed, value-added products for nutraceuticals and healthcare, biogas and organic based fertilizer. Integrated processes will combine sugar conversion from mainly amylopectins and starchy materials into proteins (for food and feed) with biogas and fertilizer production done in co-digestion of municipal solid waste and manure. Left over sugars from protein production will be used to produce amino acids and lactic acid by bacterial conversion of biowaste to upgrade the fertilizer and for fruit waste storage and food conservation. The technologies to be developed will rely on simple and locally available equipment and naturally occurring microorganisms. Life cycle analysis and socio-economic studies will be undertaken to ensure local applicability in the target countries. The project will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by improving the management of biowastes in developing countries and thus reducing their potential adverse impacts on human and animal health, the environment and the economy. With partners from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the project also provides an opportunity for EU researchers and third country partners to network and share experiences and best practices. The involvement of small-and medium sized enterprises will contribute to EUs industrial competitiveness by exposing them to new markets and new product opportunities from waste utilization. Research activities will be accompanied by proof of concept at SMEs and demonstrations by local communities and NGOs. Exchange of best proactices and knowledge-sharing among project partners will be emphasised

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