Yesterday, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched a new Science and Technology Park (STP) initiative in the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIZD).
The STP will house innovators, entrepreneurs and university researchers who will have the space and equipment to work on their various ideas and projects, with qualified experts from universities and the public and private sector – Dimension Data has signed up as one of the first tenants at the STP.
“It’s inspiring to be in the presence of innovators and technology entrepreneurs who can and must assist in solving our socio-economic problems,” Minister Naledi Pandor said, during her address at the STP launch.
The DST also hopes that the STP will add value to the Eastern Cape’s economy.
“It is encouraging to see that the East London science park has taken a value chain approach and has also created initiatives aimed at providing an internationally accredited training and exchange platform for artisans in renewable technologies. This incubation support for innovators and entrepreneurs operating in knowledge-based activities will, I hope, lead to the establishment of ventures in the Eastern Cape economy – the idea being to incubate innovative ideas that will be commercialised in the economy of the Province,” Pandor said.
Two projects have already taken off at the STP, most notably Heat Raider, a project which converts energy into steam which is then turned into water and electricity. The second project is a street light that uses solar panels and wind instead of an electricity grid.
Plans are also in the pipeline to set the province’s second Regional Innovation Forum to stimulate, support and promote innovation by bring together industry, government and academics from around the Eastern Cape.[Source – SABC News, Image – CC 2.0 Government ZA]