FEATURE: CSIR marks 75 years of cutting-edge innovation
06 October 2020
PRETORIA – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), headquartered in Pretoria, this week turned 75!
CSIR chief executive, Dr Thulani Dlamini said the anniversary is not only for celebration, but also a time to engage deeper on the CSIR’s vision, mission, values and future as a leading scientific and technology research organisation.
The CSIR is an entity of the ministry of higher education, science and innovation. It is also a leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisation in Africa.
The CSIR says it engages in directed and multidisciplinary research and technological innovation, as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of all South Africans.
Professor Thokozani Majozi, chairperson of the CSIR board, said the organisation has a rich heritage and strong reputation for excellence and innovation.
Some of the memorable CSIR innovations and inventions include the first radar in South Africa in 1945, followed by the microwave electronic distance measurement equipment, the tellurometer in 1954, as well as the contribution of CSIR research to the invention of the lithium-ion battery in the 1980s.
Nowadays, lithium-ion batteries power smart phones, laptop computers, electric vehicles, smart grids and homes.
A containment Level 3 laboratory for experiments involving HIV and TB pathogens was unveiled by the CSIR in 2010. It enables researchers to conduct research and proof-of-concept studies for new HIV/Aids and TB diagnostics or therapeutics.
“The CSIR managed to step up to the plate to support the country in its efforts to curb the spread of the virus,” Majozi said.
Over 18 000 Covid-19 tests have been conducted at an upgraded CSIR Bio-safety level 3 laboratory in a bid to boost the country’s testing capacity.
“We collaborated with a number of local partners to produce local ventilators that have been rolled out nationwide to patients showing respiratory distress in the early phase of Covid-19 infection. To date, 7 000 ventilators have been completed and delivered to hospitals and clinics,” said Majozi.