While the spectre of COVID-19 and national lockdown loom over the country, South African businesses are increasingly looking for plans and initiatives that reinvigorate the economy once things return to normal.

Aiming to provide such an initiative is the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), with both organisations recently signing a framework that will see the pair collaboration on technology projects where a shared interest exists.

The parties explain that these projects will take the form of local industries, and in particular water, energy (including bioethanol production), infrastructure development, emerging and small-farmer support and the DBSA’s Development Labs (D-Labs).

While the partnership is yet to yield anything, the hope is that it will help to pave the way for the commercialisation of the CSIR’s technologies, boosting the competitiveness of local industries and regional economies.

As for the DBSA, its D Labs are said to create economic development spaces within communities where all local participants are connected and have access to digital presence, technologies and information.

We’ve already seen some of the work that the DBSA has done from an economic support perspective during lockdown, and now the organisation says is plans to play a supporting role for government to leverage skills and capabilities to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure programmes in the key priority sectors.

“The DBSA recognises that technology is key in helping us achieve our mandate of promoting economic development and inclusive growth. As a result, we are excited about this partnership as it will enable both organisations to unlock growth in our economy,” noted DBSA chief executive, Patrick Dlamini, regarding the partnership.

“The CSIR is very pleased to be working with DBSA. This partnership brings together complimentary capabilities in innovation and development, which could see us make a significant impact in South Africa and also the region,” added CSIR CEO, Dr Thulani Dlamini.

For now, no specific deadlines or timeframes have been outlined regarding this partnership and the local industries it plans to work with, but it is certainly a development that we’ll be eagerly watching in coming months and years.

[Image – Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash]