Stellenbosch University: SASUF gears up to “Go Digital” in September


In June the contact persons of the various South African institutions forming part of the South Africa–Sweden University Forum (SASUF) gathered in person at the Swedish embassy in Pretoria. Delegates discussed how research and innovation cooperation between South Africa and Sweden could be enhanced, and how this could be implemented at the next large network event, SASUF Goes Digital, scheduled for 19–23 September 2022.

Due to the pandemic, this was SASUF’s first face-to-face meeting in two years. The proceedings were opened by the Swedish ambassador to South Africa. Apart from planning the upcoming network event, staff from the different institutions also shared best practices in advancing the network and its opportunities at their respective universities. Attending on behalf of Stellenbosch University (SU) were Sarah van der Westhuizen, manager of the Centre for Global Engagement, and Kirwan Adams, coordinator of Multilateral Collaboration and Information Management.

SASUF Goes Digital will be a virtual research and innovation (R&I) week and will include workshops, seminars, leadership meetings, panel discussions and funding opportunities. A call for applications for virtual exchange grants will be issued during the event, with awards of between R250 000 and R400 000 on offer. The next in-person SASUF R&I week will be hosted in South Africa from 27 to 31 March 2023. While the event will be similar in content to the online event, the funding opportunities made available here will take the form of research mobility funding (R85 000–R170 000). To be eligible for funding from either of these events, at least one of the researchers involved in an application must have participated in the R&I week concerned.

Over the past five years, SU has been fortunate to be part of 13 successful SASUF projects, equating to a cumulative R2 million in project funding from the network. The University also hosted the 2019 R&I week on Stellenbosch campus.

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