Mintek is one of the first two centres for nanotechnology in South Africa. The Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre (NIC) was established in 2007 by the government through the Department of Science and Technology (DST). It is a national facility that is geographically spread across South Africa and comprises of three Science Councils; Mintek, Medical Research Council (MRC) and Water Research Commission (WRC) and three University nodes; University of Johannesburg (UJ), Rhodes University (RU) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The centre is aimed at addressing national priorities highlighted by the national nanotechnology strategy in line with the national system of innovation. The centre focuses on a number of issues, including the development of research platforms, promoting collaborative networks, addressing human capital development and bridging the “innovation chasm”.
The NIC focuses on the R&D of various nanostructured materials or nanominerals and their applications in health (diagnostics & therapeutics) and water (treatment & analysis). This entails the design and development of nano-based sensor prototypes (optical and electrochemical), nanoparticle-based targeted drug delivery systems, and nanocomposite systems for water treatment. In addition, Mintek hosts world class infrastructure/equipment to undertake research, development, prototyping and scale up in nanoscience and – technology. For more details visit www.nic.ac.za