Council of Scientific & Industrial Research CSIR

our future through science

The CSIR in South Africa performs multidisciplinary research and technological innovation with the aim of contributing to industrial development and the quality of life of people of this country — and increasingly on the wider continent. We employ people who are experts in their fields and passionate about creating a better future through science … (Profile 1/2). Profile as printable copy in pdf.

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About: The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of the country’s people.  

The CSIR is committed to supporting innovation in South Africa to improve national competitiveness in the global economy. Science and technology services and solutions are provided in support of various stakeholders, and opportunities are identified where new technologies can be further developed and exploited in the private and public sectors for commercial and social benefit.

The CSIR’s shareholder is the South African Parliament, held in proxy by the Minister of Science and Technology.

Profile 2/2: … Who are we?

Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945, the CSIR is one of the leading science and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. The CSIR’s main site is in Pretoria, while it is represented in other provinces of South Africa through regional offices.

Core focus on science:

The CSIR transfers the knowledge generated through research activities by means of technology and skilled people. The generation and application of knowledge reside at the core of the CSIR. This takes place in domains such as biosciences; the built environment; defence, peace, safety and security; materials science and manufacturing; and natural resources and the environment.

Emerging research areas:

These are areas of science, explored by the CSIR, that could be unique to local circumstances or successful internationally and need to be established for local competitiveness. Examples include nanotechnology, synthetic biology and mobile autonomous intelligent systems.

National research centres:

The CSIR houses specialist facilities of strategic importance for African science. These include information and communications technologies; laser technology; and space-related technology.

R&D outcomes:

Activities include intellectual property (IP) management, technology transfer (for commercial gain as well as for social good), knowledge dissemination and impact assessment.

Consulting and analytical services:

The CSIR has a group of facilities that manages standard technology-based services. The experts in this group utilise the value of CSIR knowledge application activities by providing specialised consulting, analysis and testing services to address the needs of clients. Services include forensic fire investigations, food and beverage analysis, environmental testing, engineering forensics, wire rope testing, mechanical testing, fires and explosion tests, sports technology and analysis, and project management.

Supporting national imperatives: … (full text profile).

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