The DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) is celebrating 10 years of promoting nanotechnology-based science programs aimed at enriching the lives of South African citizens through cutting edge research.
The centre was established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), in 2007, to enable South Africa to compete globally in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, guided by the Nanotechnology and the National Research and Development strategies.
Dr Lucky Sikhwivhilu, head of the DST/Mintek NIC said “As we celebrate a decade of the DST/Mintek NIC, the next 10 years challenge us to continue to use nanotechnology in innovative ways to address the challenges faced by every South African.”
The NIC recently held a workshop, gala dinner and 10th anniversary celebration, highlighting its achievements to date. Among these, is its contribution to human capital development through the training of Scientists, Engineers and Industrialists, along with the training and graduation of numerous students in the areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology; joining the workforce at universities, industries and government, where they contribute to economic growth.
In addition, the NIC launched a state-of-the-art cleanroom research facility in 2015, for the development and commercialisation of nanoparticle-containing, point-of-care, rapid diagnostic devices for the detection of Malaria, TB and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.
The cleanroom comprise of the pharmaceutical grade (ISO 5), Biosafety level 3 (BSL 3) and the electronic device fabrication (ISO 3) cleanrooms; the ISO 3 being the first of its kind in South Africa.
Read more here about the research and development programmes undertaken by the DST/Mintek NIC towards the development and manufacturing of low-cost rapid diagnostic devices, biosensors and other electronic devices in health; the development of water treatment devices and systems and the beneficiation of minerals, contributing towards job creation and economic development.
The NIC remains globally competitive, adhering to stringent International Standards Organisation (ISO) requirements and addresses environmental issues through the responsible and sustainable development of nanotechnology.