National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

What is new in the 2023/2024 round of Awards?

Nomination registrations this year are now open. Registration deadline: 14 December 2023

Fully completed nomination documents have to be submitted by the second deadline on 6 March 2024. 


The NSTF’s theme for 2024:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in South Africa (SA)

This theme was chosen in response to new developments in technology and its uses throughout the world and in SA, affecting people’s lives and opportunities. New electronic (digital) technologies are developing at an ever-increasing pace, making it difficult for an emerging economy like SA’s to catch up and make full use of the economic opportunities these technologies have to offer. However, these technologies affect almost every aspect of people’s lives and the economy as a whole, and the global waves of innovation are unstoppable. SA has pockets of excellence where such technologies are developed and rolled out. Although the social ramifications of the 4IR are not always good news, it is a source of pride that SA scientists, engineers and technologists contribute to making the world a better place through innovation.

The Special Annual Theme Award for 2024:

The NSTF is making a special award this year for an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation through research, development and innovation (RDI) in ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies’  in South Africa (SA). 4IR technologies include: artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and Big Data analytics amongst others. NSTF wants to showcase the excellent work being done at South African institutions that should take the country forward in its socio-economic development. See a more detailed explanation of the 4IR  on the website.

  • Science Diplomacy for Africa Award

The NSTF is partnering with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) through their Science Diplomacy Capital for Africa (SDCfA) initiative, on a new award for Science Diplomacy for Africa. The award will recognise an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation by an individual or a team in SA which has led to impactful solutions and/or contributions through science diplomacy between and among countries for the benefit of SA and Africa.

  • NEW in 2023 NSTF-SAMRC Clinician-Scientist Award: This is the second year of a new award which is sponsored by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) for an outstanding contribution by a clinician-scientist, with a focus on work to enhance life and to improve the health of the community. This new category is modelled on the Emerging Researcher category.
  • NEW in 2023 Green Economy Award: The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) came forward last year in the run up to the 2023 awards to sponsor the Green Economy category  and they continue to do so this year which gives this award a new lease of life. 
  • NEW in 2023 SAYAS continues this year as a new prize sponsor. The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) is the new Prize Sponsor for  the TW Kambule-NSTF Emerging Researcher category  for the second year.  Prizes of R20 000 each will be awarded to the two winners to supplement their research funding.
  • NEW in 2023 A prize for an established category. The TW Kambule-NSTF Researcher category now has a Prize Sponsor for the second year, which is proSET (the Professional Bodies and Learned Societies sector of the NSTF). The prize money is R20 000 to supplement the winner’s research funding.
  • As usual, NIPMO provides a Prize which they sponsor for the Innovation: SMME Award . The winning SMME receives R60 000 (when there is a single winner).

1)  Terms and Conditions:  The NSTF has tightened up on the timelines. No late entries will be accepted. Extensions to the closing date will only be granted on application in writing where force majeure circumstances apply. Where, at the closing date, the number of nominations are considered by the adjudication panel to be insufficient, either overall, or in certain categories, an appropriate extension will be announced.

2) The Engineering Research Capacity Development Award: This award was broadened two years ago to allow for teams to be nominated and for engineering capacity development, which leads to engineering research capacity development to be recognised. The framework of the award remains the same.

NSTF-South32 Awards


The NSTF welcomes collaboration with other organisations, such as those they have been in partnerships with for many years:

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