National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

How to promote photonics industries in Africa? – NSTF Parallel Session during the Science Forum South Africa Conference

South Africa has a vibrant photonics community that has grown over the years, but the good research being done has not been sufficiently translated into the innovation realm to build internationally competitive photonics industries.

The recently developed Photonics Roadmap of South Africa addresses the four potential areas to be pursued (Systems, Sensors and Sources, Renewable Energy (particularly home grown PV panels), Industrial Manufacturing and Life Sciences and Health). There are opportunities to grow the Lighting and Displays, ICT and Emerging Technologies photonics sectors.

2015 was the International Year of Light. NSTF and CSIR jointly hosted a stakeholder discussion forum on Innovation in Light-based Technologies (DST-sponsored) to showcase what photonics, additive manufacturing and solar power R&D are being done in SA, and explore the potential for emerging industries in these areas. This session is a follow-up on these earlier discussions. The session will mainly focus on photonics and how to stimulate related industries. The revival of PISA will be discussed, recommendations from the IYL discussion forum will be shared, as well as any further developments that have taken place since the discussion forum.

This session is for anyone who is in photonics-related research, interested in promoting photonics industries in SA, physics students and researchers, anyone interested in light-based technologies, the dti and IDC employees and stakeholders, and for anyone interested in innovation.

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