DST, SAP Africa renew ICT research partnership

JohannesburgSAP and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) announced their support for an advanced human capital development programme in information and communication technology (ICT) in South Africa. Director-General of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, and SAP Africa’s Managing Director, Pfungwa Serima, signed a memorandum of understanding.

“SAP believes in investing in the countries in which we do business and our investments are based on the philosophy that IT-led innovation can drive economic development and parity through resource-efficient growth. We believe that this partnership will go a long way towards enhancing the global competitiveness of South Africa,” says Serima.

SAP and DST first joined forces in 2006. Since then, South Africa has seen over R140 million injected into joint ICT research and development activities. The partnership has also given rise to new and exciting innovations within the ICT sector, including the establishment of the SAP-Meraka Unit for Technology Development. In the future, SAP and the DST are aiming to develop market-relevant software products and commercialise research outputs in the country in collaboration with small, medium and micro enterprises.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr Mjwara said the partnership could not have come at a better time. “Information and communication technologies are widely recognised as potent tools for socio-economic development and catalysts for the emerging knowledge economy,” he said.

The DST has developed and adopted a strategic framework, the main purpose of which is to enable effective engagement and collaboration with multinational companies such as SAP, and to contribute to the implementation of key objectives of the national ICT research, development and innovation strategy.

“As the Department of Science and Technology, we attach high value to meaningful strategic partnerships. I am very pleased that SAP Africa has extended the partnership with us to seek new and better solutions for improving the ICT research, development and innovation ecosystem,” Dr Mjwara continued.

Danie Kok, Head of SAP Research Africa, commented: “We are extremely pleased with our partnership with the Department of Science and Technology. This is a good example of how government can collaborate with the private sector in driving meaningful human capital development and research to address ICT sector, business and societal challenges. In the past five years, we saw almost 80% of PhD and master’s candidates enrolled at various universities pass while also doing practical applied research on appropriate and contextual relevant projects at SAP. This programme would have not been such a great success without the support of the DST. Our partnership not only promotes innovation, research, human capacity development and South Africa’s global competitiveness, but also allows us to participate and compete on a global level. We are extremely excited to do great things in South Africa in collaboration with the DST.”


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Issued by:
SAP Africa and the Department of Science and Technology

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