NRF is RCN's sister organization in South Africa and the partnership between the two research councils started as far back as 2002. The visit was arranged to follow up the launching seminar of SANCOOP (South African-Norwegian research cooperation programme) in May 2014.
The main purpose was to allow NRF's staff to familiarise themselves with the working methods of RCN and to visit some of the projects financed by SANCOOP.
The delegation had a varied program consisting of workshops, project visits and meetings with representatives from relevant Norwegian institutions. The trip also included a visit to the South African embassy in Oslo and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Norwegian winter did nothing to lower the mood of the workshops, even when moving them outside of the RCN's offices at Lysaker, Oslo. Left to right: Jan Haakonsen, Special Advisor, RCN; Teuns Phahlamohlaka, Professional Officer, NRF; Camilla Grime, Senior Executive Officer, RCN, Stephen Dlamini, Professional Officer, RCN and Khaya Sishuba, Director, DST.
– We're very pleased with the visit from our South African counterparts, and look forward to continue our excellent relations in the future. The visit has no doubt helped increased our mutual understanding of how our two institutions operate and contributed to strengthen the day-to-day operations of SANCOOP, says programme coordinator, Jan Haakonsen at the Research Council of Norway.
– An important part of the programme operation consists of following up the funded projects, physically as well as through annual reports. Consequently we used this opportunity to visit to visit some of our jointly funded projects in the Oslo-area.
Haakonsen informs that there currently are a lot of activities aimed at enhancing the South African-Norwegian research cooperation.
– Science and technology cooperation was high on the agenda for the recent bilateral consultations between South Africa and Norway in Pretoria where I participated as part of the Norwegian delegation. And in February 2015, a high level delegation from the University of Oslo will visit a number of universities and research institutions in South Africa. These are just a couple of examples of the growing interest in research cooperation between our two countries, he explains.
The SANCOOP-programme is currently funding 19 bilateral projects with Norwegian and South African partners. Read about them at the RCN's project bank