Welcome Address

A very warm welcome to our stakeholders who include the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the DST l HySA Centres of Competencies (CoCs), Researchers and Scientists, Industry, Postgraduate Students, Science Centres, Educators and Learners and other equally important contributors in the National System of Innovations (NSI) who are contributing to the realization of the Hydrogen Economy in South Africa.

It gives us good pleasure to finally launch the HySA Public Awareness, Demonstration and Education Platform website. Our utmost appreciation goes to the DST’s Hydrogen and Energy Directorate for the investments made into creating this public awareness platform and the support received over the years. Our appreciation further goes to the different Directors of CoCs whose efforts have contributed significantly to the success of this awareness programme.

DST’s Ten Year Innovation Plan (2008-18) recognises that “members of the public are not merely passive recipients of science and technology, but are important players in processes that shape the focus and patterns of science, technology and development”. It is for this reason that the platform has been tasked with the critical objectives of creating awareness, visibility and acceptance of the benefits and safety of using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies (HFCT). We are thus constantly seeking, developing and taking advantage of new and innovative platforms to keep stakeholders and the general public informed about HFCT. ICT and digital platforms therefore provide us with an alternative means that offers limitless advantages in profiling this technology to all South Africans. Hence, the simultaneous creation of the HySA PADEP website and Twitter page (@hysa_outreach) should be considered a step in the right direction. We hope to continue to explore other platforms for profiling HFCT that are in line with recent trends and developments.

The purpose behind developing a website is to position HySA PADEP as a strategic platform of the DST that will create awareness to:

  • Effectively communicate HySA PADEP’s mandate, vision, objectives and awareness activities;
  • Ensure continued stakeholder awareness, interest, buy-in and support;
  • Inform decision-making for a knowledge society and improved quality of life;
  • Communicate DST’s policies and policy developments affecting South Africa’s HFCT sector;
  • Profile researchers and career opportunities at facilities undertaking HFCT research;
  • Profile the State-of-the Art equipment and infrastructure at facilities undertaking HFCT research.

To achieve the abovementioned aims, the platform will ensure that the various audience categories are provided with relevant information. News that will be featured on the website will come from our outreach and awareness activities and other on-going projects and activities – our utmost priority, as mandated by DST. Relevant information for collaborations with science centres will be made available accordingly. The HySA PADEP team, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, will publish amongst other things, interviews with private companies’ researchers and key individuals at companies such as Anglo-American, Airproducts and Clean Energy Investments who in one way or another are involved in this sector.

The critical success factors of this communication platform will be measured by the number of users frequenting the website and the amount of content, including news, interviews, downloads, videos, research updates and announcements, made available to users of the website. The HySA PADEP team thus commits to providing relevant information in order to keep the public updated on the status of HFCT in South Africa as the country maps its path towards the envisaged Hydrogen Economy.

We would like to encourage participation by our researchers to share and communicate their research findings as well as be involved in outreach and awareness activities and other science advancement projects which, in turn, will improve their science engagement profiles and science communication skills. To everyone else involved in or with HFCT, kindly partner with us as we take the message of HFCT to every corner of the country.

We would love to hear from you, thus send us your comments, news items, requests and event notifications (info@saasta.ac.za or via telephone: 012 392 9300).