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South Africa: Centre of Excellence Opened at Stellenbosch University
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 23, 2014

“In a sense, this new [centre of excellence] lies right at the heart of the mission of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. This is really a very exciting moment for our National System of Innovation."

The aim of the DST-NRF Centres of Excellence (CoE) is to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research among research-performing institutions, and to provide high-end skills development in priority research areas.

The CoE in Scientometrics and STI Policy will foster and enhance collaboration among the existing experts and researchers and build more human capital for STI policy formulation and review, as well as STI measurement, development and usage, and improve the general understanding of the interaction between scientific development and the economy.

Stellenbosch University was awarded the opportunity to host the CoE in Scientometrics and STI Policy, bringing to four the number of CoEs it hosts.

The other three CoEs are the CoE for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research; the CoE for Invasion Biology; and the CoE in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis.

Speaking at the launch, the CEO of the National Research Foundation, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld said: “We are confident that this CoE will not only lead to the advancement of knowledge and human capital development, but more importantly it will help to increase the efficiency of our country's use of its knowledge resources.

“Through the production of high quality, research-based evidence, this Centre of Excellence will lead to improved decision making in Science, Technology and Innovation policy.”

The DST-NRF CoE in Scientometrics and STI Policy will be housed in the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST). CREST was established in January 1995 as an interdisciplinary research centre of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Stellenbosch University.

Since the late 1990s, the work has focused more on the sociology of science and science policy issues and, more recently, also on knowledge production in higher education.

CREST will be the lead host, with the Tshwane University of Technology co-hosting. The Centre for Higher Education and Transformation and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of the University of Leiden will be partners.

Professor Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector: Research and Innovation of Stellenbosch University, said”: "The award recognises the expertise of Stellenbosch University and is in line with the university's institutional intent and strategy, which aims to identify and focus on areas of research."

Expertise in the field of scientometrics/bibliometrics and STI is limited in South Africa and receives limited attention in terms of training and capacity development.
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