South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Pretoria, South Africa

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research established in 1942, is an autonomous body and India's largest research and development organisation, with 37 laboratories and 39 field stations or extension centres spread across the nation, with a collective staff of over 17,000. Although CSIR is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body registered under the Registration of Societies Act of 1860.The research and development activities of CSIR includes various fields such as aerospace engineering, Structural engineering, ocean science, Life science, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environment. In December 2006, Director General Raghunath A. Mashelkar, retired following which M. K. Bhan took over the post, but he was relieved on 7 March 2007. After that T. Ramasami had the additional charge of Director General of CSIR until Samir K. Brahmachari was appointed as the Director General on 13 November 2007.In late 2007, the Minister of Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal admitted, in a Question Hour session of the Parliament, that CSIR has developed 1,376 technologies/knowledgebase during the last decade of 20th century. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-16-2014 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2015

Terrestrial and marine ecosystems provide essential services to human societies. Anthropogenic pressures, however, cause serious threat to ecosystems, leading to habitat degradation, increased risk of collapse and loss of ecosystem services. Knowledge-based conservation, management and restoration policies are needed to improve ecosystem benefits in face of increasing pressures. ECOPOTENTIAL makes significant progress beyond the state-of-the-art and creates a unified framework for ecosystem studies and management of protected areas (PA). ECOPOTENTIAL focuses on internationally recognized PAs in Europe and beyond in a wide range of biogeographic regions, and it includes UNESCO, Natura2000 and LTER sites and Large Marine Ecosystems. Best use of Earth Observation (EO) and monitoring data is enabled by new EO open-access ecosystem data services (ECOPERNICUS). Modelling approaches including information from EO data are devised, ecosystem services in current and future conditions are assessed and the requirements of future protected areas are defined. Conceptual approaches based on Essential Variables, Macrosystem Ecology and cross-scale interactions allow for a deeper understanding of the Earths Critical Zone. Open and interoperable access to data and knowledge is assured by a GEO Ecosystem Virtual Laboratory Platform, fully integrated in GEOSS. Support to transparent and knowledge-based conservation and management policies, able to include information from EO data, is developed. Knowledge gained in the PAs is upscaled to pan-European conditions and used for planning and management of future PAs. A permanent stakeholder consultancy group (GEO Ecosystem Community of Practice) will be created. Capacity building is pursued at all levels. SMEs are involved to create expertise leading to new job opportunities, ensuring long-term continuation of services. In summary, ECOPOTENTIAL uses the most advanced technologies to improve future ecosystem benefits for humankind.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-5c-2015 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2016

This project focuses on a major challenge in African countries: In the 15 sub-Saharan African countries 108 million people have limited or even no access to clean water. The SafeWaterAfrica project will research and develop an autonomous and decentralized water treatment system for rural and peri-urban areas which is highly efficient in the degradation of harmful pollutants and at the same time very effective in killing microbiological contaminants. The system will be designed to provide 300 people in rural areas. With a market penetration of 3000 systems the project has the potential to supply 900,000 people within app. four years after the end of the project. The project includes capacity building and business development so that system ownership and responsibility are in the hands of the local rural communities. The joint European-African development will result in a low-cost solution easy to handle and operate. It will take into account the specific cultural aspects of the region and will be designed for operation with local staff and in the responsibility of local communities or local water service providers, respectively. These Made in Africa systems will therefore have a high level of acceptance in the rural areas which promotes the implementation of the technology. Ten transdisciplinary partners from Europe and Africa, assisted by eight enterprises and organisations in the Advisory Board, will work jointly over a project duration of 42 months to adapt a specific European water treatment technology into an African water treatment system solution. Besides, SafeWaterAfrica will generate the technological basis for innovative business models related to the development of water treatment products, which are produced, installed, operated and maintained in Africa. The resulting creation of new jobs will contribute to the social well-being and will promote economic growth in the rural and peri-urban areas of the southern African countries.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-08-2014 | Award Amount: 20.65M | Year: 2015

The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System (IAOOS), by defining requirements and systems design, improving the readiness of observing networks and data systems, and engaging stakeholders around the Atlantic; and leaving a legacy and strengthened contribution to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). AtlantOS will fill existing in-situ observing system gaps and will ensure that data are readily accessible and useable. AtlantOS will demonstrate the utility of integrating in-situ and Earth observing satellite based observations towards informing a wide range of sectors using the Copernicus Marine Monitoring Services and the European Marine Observation and Data Network and connect them with similar activities around the Atlantic. AtlantOS will support activities to share, integrate and standardize in-situ observations, reduce the cost by network optimization and deployment of new technologies, and increase the competitiveness of European industries, and particularly of the small and medium enterprises of the marine sector. AtlantOS will promote innovation, documentation and exploitation of innovative observing systems. All AtlantOS work packages will strengthen the trans-Atlantic collaboration, through close interaction with partner institutions from Canada, United States, and the South Atlantic region. AtlantOS will develop a results-oriented dialogue with key stakeholders communities to enable a meaningful exchange between the products and services that IAOOS can deliver and the demands and needs of the stakeholder communities. Finally, AtlantOS will establish a structured dialogue with funding bodies, including the European Commission, USA, Canada and other countries to ensure sustainability and adequate growth of IAOOS.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-7-2014 | Award Amount: 1.82M | Year: 2015

The MAGIC Project seeks to establish a set of agreements for Europe, Latin America and other participating World Regions, aiming at consolidating and completing the building blocks of middleware necessary for the establishment of a marketplace of services and real-time applications for international and inter-continental research groups which facilitates mobility and the work of global science communities. More specifically, the project specific goals are: -To foster the deployment of the platforms that enable mobility of people and seamless access to services by promoting the establishment of identity federations interconnected via eduGAIN, creating awareness of privacy and security issues and spreading eduroam by: sharing experiences, carrying out training and making available shared infrastructure to ease the process in the partner world regions. -To develop a model for inter-operation between NREN cloud application markets of participating world regions, based on cloud provisioning and taking advantage of applications developed and run by NRENs across different continents to create a model for a worldwide application market for collaboration tools and services -To seek consensus among participating world regions on the importance of interoperability of real-time applications and work towards the adoption of standards such as those proposed by the Global CEO Forum to promote the creation of a worldwide environment for these applications. -To foster the collaborative work of Global Science Communities by actively promoting the participation of Latin American and other regions researchers in European Commission Calls and those of other international funding agencies with high impact in the participating regions and other networking activities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRASUPP-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2017

The objective of the AENEAS project is to develop a concept and design for a distributed, federated European Science Data Centre (ESDC) to support the astronomical community in achieving the scientific goals of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The scientific potential of the SKA radio telescope is unprecedented and represents one of the highest priorities for the international scientific community. By the same token, the large scale, rate, and complexity of data the SKA will generate, present challenges in data management, computing, and networking that are similarly world-leading. SKA Regional Centres (SRC) like the ESDC will be a vital resource to enable the community to take advantage of the scientific potential of the SKA. Within the tiered SKA operational model, the SRCs will provide essential functionality which is not currently provisioned within the directly operated SKA facilities. AENEAS brings together all the European member states currently part of the SKA project as well as potential future EU SKA national partners, the SKA Organisation itself, and a larger group of international partners including the two host countries Australia and South Africa.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: WASTE-4b-2014 | Award Amount: 1.64M | Year: 2015

Urbanization is on the rise in Africa and this trend is expected to continue in the future. The fast growing use of technology is creating a rising e-waste stream, for which there is limited recycling capacity. Waste management infrastructures and public awareness of the health issues is largely non-existent. Basic environmental precautions are almost absent and health and safety regulations are loosely enforced. Improvements are therefore urgently needed to combat related health issues, alleviate poverty and develop the local recycling sector. EWIT projects aim is to address these challenges, assisting African municipalities in the implementation of effective e-waste management systems for their communities. The project will develop a comprehensive mapping of the baseline data of African metropolitan areas related to e-waste management, analyzing the most relevant experiences, processes and legal tools available. It will then deliver a dynamic and easy to use information and service portal to offer guidance and practical support for the design and development of e-waste collection and recycling systems. EWIT will generate the expected impacts through 5 coordinated work packages. The working model is based on two different set of workshops, one led by Cities and the other by Experts. Tools, implementation models, policies and procedures will feed a dedicated information and service platform called E-waste implementation toolkit. This dynamic and easy to use internet portal will be a strategic source of knowledge for decision makers at industry and local government level. Dissemination will play a key role to assure that the projects deliverables are well understood and ready to be applied. EWIT will define the conditions and actions necessary to implement effective waste recycling systems in metropolitan areas, increasing recycling opportunities for entrepreneurs, generating new jobs and improving environment and health protection of local communities.

Sinha Ray S.,South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2012

Polylactide (PLA) is the oldest and potentially one of the most interesting and useful biodegradable man-made polymers because of its renewable origin, controlled synthesis, good mechanical properties, and inherent biocompatibility. The blending of PLA with functional nanoparticles can yield a new class of hybrid materials, commonly known as bionanocomposites, where 1-5% nanoparticles by volume are molecularly dispersed within the PLA matrix. The dispersed nanoparticles with their large surface areas and low percolation thresholds both can improve the properties significantly in comparison with neat PLA and can introduce new value-added properties.Recently, researchers have made extraordinary progress in the practical processing and development of products from PLA bionanocomposites. The variation of the nanofillers with different functionalities can lead to many bionanocomposite applications including environmentally friendly packaging, materials for construction, automobiles, and tissue regeneration, and load-bearing scaffolds for bone reconstruction. This Account focuses on these recent research efforts, processing techniques, and key research challenges in the development of PLA-based bionanocomposites for use in applications from green plastics to biomedical applications.Growing concerns over environmental issues and high demand for advanced polymeric materials with balanced properties have led to the development of bionanocomposites of PLA and natural origin fillers, such as nanoclays. The combination of nanoclays with the PLA matrix allows us to develop green nanocomposites that possess several superior properties. For example, adding ∼5 vol % clay to PLA improved the storage modulus, tensile strength, break elongation, crystallization rate, and other mechanical properties. More importantly, the addition of clay decreases the gas and water vapor permeation, increases the heat distortion temperature and scratch resistance, and controls the biodegradation of the PLA matrix.In biomedicine, researchers have employed the design rules found in nature to fabricate PLA-based bionanocomposites. The incorporation of functional nanoparticles in the PLA matrix has improved the physical properties and changed the surface characteristics of the matrix that are important for tissue engineering and artificial bone reconstruction, such as its thermal and electrical conductivity, surface roughness, and wettability. Finally, of the introduction of bionanocomposite biocompatible surfaces on drugs, such as antibiotics, could produce delivery systems that act locally. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-13b-2014 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2015

INTRAW will map and develop new cooperation opportunities related to raw materials in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States, addressing: Research and innovation; Raw materials policies and strategies Joint educational and skills programmes; Licensing and permitting procedures; Data reporting systems; Exploration, extraction, processing and recycling practices; Management and substitution of Critical Raw Materials. The outcome of the mapping and knowledge transfer activities will be used as a baseline to set and launch the European Unions International Observatory for Raw Materials as a definitive raw materials intelligence infrastructure, operating internationally. The Observatory will be a permanent body that will remain operational after the project completion, with a clear strategy and management approach, aiming for the establishment and maintenance of strong long-term relationships with the worlds key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments. The Observatory will not only continuously monitor cooperation possibilities but will also actively promote these via the establishment of dedicated bilateral and multilateral funding schemes and incentives for raw materials cooperation between the EU and technologically advanced countries outside the EU.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: WATER-5b-2015 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2016

The main objective of AfriAlliance is for African and European stakeholders to work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development to prepare Africa for future Climate Change challenges. There are many but fragmented initiatives and networks in place, therefore we will not create new but will consolidate existing networks of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens and other key stakeholders into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism via an overall coordination platform: the Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate. We will support them in identifying appropriate social innovation and technological solutions for key water and climate change challenges. We will take Africa-EU cooperation in this field to a practical level by sharing (non)technological innovation for local challenges, thus also identifying and boosting sustainable market and investment opportunities. Demand-driven, problem-focused Action Groups will share knowledge between the identified stakeholders and networks at all scales to effectively identify and address vulnerabilities. We will make extensive use of existing/emerging communication channels and events (EU/African platforms, conferences, social media) to streamline Climate Change issues into water-related networks to raise awareness about their impacts and propose adaptation measures. We will re-enforce and valorise Water and Climate Change research and (social) innovation (R&I) cooperation between Africa and Europe through a mix of forward-looking and bottom-up innovation and road mapping techniques. We will identify demands, opportunities, and constraints at different levels and develop strategic advice (short term demand-driven R&I outlook and long term R&I agenda) for improving Africa-EU collaboration. This will help policy makers to create a consistent approach to bilateral cooperation between Africa and the EU in the field of innovation for water and climate

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: DRS-08-2014 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2015

SEREN3 is a 36-month Coordination and Support Action with the overall aim of facilitating trans-national co-operation among NCPs for Secure Societies, identifying and sharing good practices, and raising the general standard of the support to programme applicants across the EU, Associated and Third countries. To reach the objective above, the project will develop three main activity axes, corresponding to the projects specific objectives: 1) capacity building of NCPs; 2) strengthening the participation of relevant stakeholders to Horizon 2020 funding opportunities; 3) and supporting networking opportunities within the Secure Societies constituency. Cross-cutting activities of dissemination and communication will addup to this main set of activities, helping to enhance their impact. SEREN3 is the continuation and evolution of the precedent network, SEREN2, whose results and lessons learnt have been taken into consideration with the logic of improving the future network and in order to valorize the networks strengths. SEREN3 will also take into account the paradigmatic change brought by Horizon 2020. This will be reflected in particular in a stronger attention of the network in terms of multidisciplinary competences, consideration of related societal challenges, and linkage with other EU relevant initiatives, funding programmes and policies. Finally, the network will seek further opening to a wider target of stakeholders and businesses in the Secure Societies field. SEREN3 consortium comprises 17 beneficiaries, with a good mix of well-experienced and less experienced NCPs, and representing Member States, Associated Countries and Third Countries. Besides beneficiaries, the project services will be offered to all officially appointed H2020 Secure Societies NCPs, who will be involved as associated partners.

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