Ms Mei Eklund is pleased to invite you to participate in the Stakeholder Session of the 2nd HySA Technical Meeting, which will be hosted by the HySA Programme Office on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The meeting is scheduled for the 27th of November 2017, commencing at 08h00 to 17h30, and on the 28th of November 2017, from 08h00 to 17h30. The meeting will be held at the President Hotel, 4 Alexander Rd, Bantry Bay, Cape Town.
Given the envisaged rapid growth in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies (HFCT), the DST identified HFCT as one of its frontier science and technology initiatives, to foster proactive innovation and create knowledge and human resources capacity. This knowledge creation is essential for participation in the emerging HFCT sector and to lay the foundation for the adoption and use of fuel cells. In this regard, the DST developed the National HFCT Research, Development and Innovation Strategy, which was approved by Cabinet in May 2007. The Strategy was formally launched in May 2008 and branded Hydrogen South Africa (HySA). The HySA Strategy stimulates and guides innovation along the value chain of HFCT in South Africa, aiming to position the country to drive and optimise local benefits through supplying high value-added products (i.e. PGMs) to the potentially increasing international markets.
Three Centres of Competence (CoCs) were established in order to undertake research and development (R&D) work towards the realisation of the objectives of the HySA Strategy. These are: Hydrogen Catalysis (HySA Catalysis), co-hosted by the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the South African Minerals Research Council (MINTEK), Systems Integration and Technology Validation (HySA Systems), hosted by University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Hydrogen Generation, Delivery and Storage (HySA Infrastructure), co-hosted by North West University (NWU) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In April 2016, the HySA Programme Office was established by the DST and is hosted by MINTEK. The main purpose of the HySA Programme Office is to provide strategic direction and oversight to the CoCs within the HySA Programme, through the alignment of research, development and commercialisation activities of the CoCs in an effective, focused and collaborative manner.
To date, the HySA Programme has to a great degree achieved the requirements as set out in the HySA Strategy document for the first five years, known as the “Establishment of R&D Capacity” phase. The second five-year phase (2014-2018), which is geared towards “Technology Demonstration and Validation”, is currently underway. The goals of the second phase are to deliver products to the market and demonstrate capabilities in the pilot markets; hence technology development and commercialisation are identified as key objectives within all CoCs. The ultimate goal of the CoCs is to deliver products that are commercially viable, leading to the attainment of local benefits such as economic benefit through job, wealth and new industries creation; the development of appropriate skills and human resources capital; and an improved quality of life for all South Africans.
To fast track the process of upscaling technology demonstration towards commercialization, the HySA Programme Office, on behalf of the DST, will therefore host the 2nd HySA Technical Meeting from 27 to 28 November 2017. The main purpose of the technical meeting is to engage with both the private and public sector stakeholders to explore the market potential in South Africa, the Southern African Development Community and globally, with the aim of exploring possible collaborations and strengthening public/private partnerships within the HySA Programme. The theme for this year’s technical meeting is “Upscaling Technology Demonstration towards Commercialisation”. I would therefore appreciate your participation in the Stakeholder Session of the 2nd Annual HySA Technical Meeting.