New members appointed to Innovation Council
Pretoria - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has appointed new members of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) which will advise the minister and cabinet on matters that affect the National Innovation System of South Africa.
"I am pleased with the calibre of the Council members and the wealth of knowledge and expertise that they bring to this institution, which is a key priority for government,” Minister Pandor said.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, Minister Pandor said all 19 appointees had impressive skills and experience from a diverse range of backgrounds.
“I am sure you will make a valuable contribution to the innovation of the country,” Minister Pandor said.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, was appointed as the chairperson of NACI.
De la Rey said the council had been assigned to review the National System of Innovation since the 1996 White Paper.
The objective was to craft a new White Paper that would be published in 2015.
She said the council would also focus on developing a New White Paper on science and innovation, looking at a plan of action for innovation in South Africa for the next decade aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP).
“Innovation is a concept that is a pervasive throughout our economy. For the South African economy to improve its performance and overall competiveness, we need innovation at the highest level.”
De la Rey said innovation affected the services in the country’s economy, manufacturing, how food was produced and how vaccines were developed.
“If we can develop new products and services that benefit our economy it will have a ripple effect on the lives of each person in the country,” de la Rey said.
She said the council would be focusing on key areas, such as food, energy and water.
De le Rey said she was excited about the work that the council was going to be doing.
“I think the work that we do has an enormous and positive impact on the future development of South Africa.
“I feel very honoured and privileged that I have been appointed to undertake this task on behalf of the people of South Africa,” she said.
De la Rey was the Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education before serving as Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Psychology at the University of Cape Town.
She also served as the Executive Director of Research Promotion at the National Research Foundation. – SAnews.gov.za