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Research and Innovation Entities

The Upington Centre for Entrepreneurship & Rapid Incubator (CfERI) was established in 2017 by the Department of Small Business Development and SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency). The Upington CfERI (now the Sol Plaatje University CfERI) was launched on 23 November 2017, with the aim of supporting, establishing, and training SMMEs to create sustainable businesses and jobs. The CfERI supports entrepreneurs in various sectors, but focuses mainly on Agriculture, Tourism, and ICT. It provides support to start-ups and existing entrepreneurs by means of support and development programmes, masterclasses, access to markets and funding, and technology transfer assistance.

Service sectors:

·         Agriculture
·         Tourism
·         ICT

Service offering:

·         Company registrations & compliance
·         Business coaching
·         Technology transfer assistance
·         Marketing assistance
·         Business Management training
·         Bookkeeping
·         Access to Funding
·         Seed Fund loan – up to R20 000
·         Co-Working services

Stakeholders:

  • Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality (DKM)
  • ZF Mgcawu District Municipality (ZFMDM)
  • Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT)
  • Raisins South Africa
  • Mobile Applications Laboratory NPC (MLab)
  • Sage South Africa
  • Eskom Development Foundation
  • Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development
  • Vodacom ICT Resource Centre

The Centre for Creative Writing in African Languages, with a focus on Setswana, Afrikaans, and Nama, holds the potential to unlock several opportunities. These include international partnerships with universities from Botswana and Namibia and attracting regional students and academics.

The Centre for Data Science and Analytics has the potential to unlock various opportunities. There is potential for multi-disciplinary collaboration in education (data analytics in education); heritage studies (archiving with a focus on data storage and retrieval); and economic and management sciences (the impact of data on entrepreneurship and management). Furthermore, opportunities for establishing a data warehouse consisting of a range of provincial databases for policy analysis can be explored with provincial and local government stakeholders.

The centre was formally established on 1 September 2021 and falls within the School of Natural and Applied Sciences. An official launch of the centre took place on 15 October 2021 at SPU. It forms part of the DSI’s Global Change Research Programme and is funded under the NRFs Global Change Programme. The Centre aims to conduct postgraduate applied research in global and climate change science centered around the arid zone with a focus on the Northern Cape.

Research is carried out within in the framework of the four cross-cutting knowledge challenge areas of the DSI’s Global Change Research Plan:

  • Understanding a Changing Planet,
  • Reducing the Human Footprint,
  • Adapting the Way, We Live
  • Innovation for Sustainability.

There are 18 key research themes that fall across the four knowledge challenge areas. The Centre plans to focus its work across five sectors in the Northern Cape:

  • Food security and livelihoods,
  • Water resources and security,
  • Sustainable energy,
  • Sustainable natural capital and
  • Urban adaptation and resilience.

There will be some upcoming post-doctoral work which will focus on novel and innovative ways to treat wastewater; understanding water resource use in and outside of a protected area; assessing urban ecological infrastructure in Kimberley and vulnerability and resilience to climatic changes; using machine learning methodology to predict air pollution and improve weather forecasting and understanding the death of iconic Camelthorn trees in the Kathu region of the Northern Cape.

Mr George Moloi

Senior Administrator

Academic Building: Room 126

Email address: george.moloi@spu.ac.za

Tel: 053 491 0230

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