New push for careers in science and innovation

An information portal has been launched by the Department of Science and Technology designed to inspire pupils and students to become scientists and engineers. Alongside career insight, it includes information on things such as bursaries and funding in the sector.

 mzansi_for_science_naledi_pandor_article Minister Naledi Pandor said a national website is set up to assist learners to get into career fields like science and technology. (Image: SKA Africa)


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Melissa Javan

The importance of investing in intellectual property and how to protect intellectual property are issues discussed on the national online portal Mzansi For Science, created for aspiring scientists and engineers.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor launched the site during National Science Week, which ran from 1 to 8 August this year.

Mzansi For Science was created to raise awareness about the role of science, technology and innovation, as well as to celebrate unsung South African heroes and to encourage South Africans to study, support and invest in the sciences.

The stakeholders

In building the portal, the Department of Science and Technology partnered with the South African National Space Agency, the Technology Innovation Agency, the Mineral and Metallurgical Innovation (Mintek), the Academy of Science of South Africa, and the National Research Foundation.

Pandor said the information portal profiled the work of universities and science councils. It also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

“Of course, for the youth of today to become scientists of tomorrow, learners must know about the various careers that are available in the world of Stemi [science, technology engineering, mathematics and innovation subjects],” she said.

 mzansi_for_science_article This site gives learners and students access on information to bursaries and funding to pay for their studies. (Image: Screen grab via Mzanzi For Science)

How the site helps

The portal categorises the various fields and careers that depend on the Stemi subjects, such as engineering sciences, physical sciences, life and medical sciences, and mathematical sciences. Aeronautics, for example, is a field in engineering sciences.

Pandor said science had given birth to huge industries such as safety and security, and energy efficient lighting, among many others. These were strategic sectors for South Africa.

Information is included on the portal about where pupils, undergraduate and post-graduate students can apply for bursaries and funding to pay for their studies. This, along with a list of universities, are found under the “Study it” tab.

Intellectual property explained

“The World Intellectual Property Organisation refers to [intellectual property] as creations of the mind, such as inventions, literature, art, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce,” explains the site. “However, like any piece of property, you must protect your [intellectual property] if you want to gain any benefit from it.”

Medicines, music and movies are examples of intellectual property that should be protected. For more information, check out the site here.