June 15, 2020

Research & innovation “Road Map” to guide the future of the maritime sector

The Research, Innovation and Knowledge Management Road Map for the SA maritime sector will be taken on the road in May and June for a series of stakeholder workshops to kick-start its implementation.

The road map was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with support from SAMSA and SAIMI, to provide a clear plan for the research, innovation and technology development needed to support the long-term vision of South Africa as a globally recognised maritime nation by 2030.

Launched in late 2016, the road map is the result of extensive review of existing tertiary qualifications, research and innovation activity and current strategies, together with wide-ranging stakeholder consultation to develop vision, mission, key objectives and concrete action steps.

“In striving for maritime excellence, it’s important that South Africa focus not only on developing the skills needed by the maritime sector, but also on generating, sharing and effectively using knowledge, encouraging innovation and developing new technologies to support our maritime industry in becoming globally competitive.

“The road map takes a long-term view to where we are developing local solutions to global problems and sustainably exploiting the resources of our oceans and coastline,” said CSIR Senior Scientist Nikki Funke, the lead author of the road map.

The road map is aligned to the vision and objectives of Operation Phakisa in the Oceans Economy, and integrates the research and innovation needs of the broad spectrum of the “maritime economy” – which takes in everything from aquaculture to tourism, environmental protection to oil and gas exploration, to maritime transport and manufacturing.

The road map identifies eight key objectives, which, together with a set of core research, innovation and knowledge management-focused actions per objective, chart a course to maritime excellence for South Africa:

1. We have a maritime culture and recognise and learn from our maritime history.
2. We have an enabling governance framework for the maritime sector.
3. We have an efficient system of coordination, collaboration and knowledge sharing and have taken measures to reduce red tape in order to promote investment and development.
4. We utilise our resources sustainably and protect our natural resources in the EEZ (exclusive economic zone).
5. We have a research, innovation and knowledge management system that is relevant, well-functioning, targeted and multi-disciplinary.
6. We have structured financing of initiatives in the sector and sustained maritime economic growth.
7. We prioritise safety and security and military protection within and beyond our EEZ.
8. We have national, regional and international presence and recognition.

“The road map sets the national agenda for developing the knowledge and information, research and innovation needed to enable long-term, sustainable growth of the maritime economy, and provides the blueprint for meeting these needs. SAIMI’s research agenda will in turn be guided by the road map as we work together with the CSIR to roll out implementation,” SAIMI CEO Prof Malek Pourzanjani said.

Among the first steps are the recruitment of Research Associates at SAIMI, which will be advertised in May, and stakeholder workshops in Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban from 29 May to 2 June.

The full roadmap document is available for download below and also at https://maritimeroadmap.wordpress.com/ where the blog enables comments and questions.

For more information on participating in the workshops, contact Nikki Funke – nfunke@csir.co.za

About the author

Issued by Issued by Siyathetha Communications on behalf of the South African International Maritime Institute.

SAIMI CEO: Odwa Mtati – 082 783 6810 Siyathetha: Ed Richardson: +27 41 582 3750 / 083 656 9757

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