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.
What They Do
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.
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:
South Africa’s national imperatives and global challenges provide the macrostrategic framework within which the CSIR conducts its research. In an effort to contribute to placing our continent on a path of sustainable growth and development, the organisation supports and actively participates in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
The CSIR contributes to the national programme of development by:
Building and transforming human capital
Strengthening the S&T base
Performing relevant knowledge-generating research and transferring technology and skilled human capital.
Defence, peace, safety & security
Information & communications
Materials science & manufacturing
Natural resources & the environment
Modelling and digital science
The CSIR has clients in both the private sector (micro, small, medium and large enterprises; formal and informal), as well as in the public sector (national, provincial and local government). The organisation also deals with public enterprises and institutions, national safety and security establishments, and development structures. Regionally and abroad, the CSIR fosters partnerships and a network of clients and partner organisations as part of a global sphere of influence on matters of technology. The CSIR liaises closely with tertiary education institutions. With a strong emphasis on relevant and developmental work, it also has strong roots in various communities, and collaborates with a wide range of donors and funding agencies.
Where is Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)