Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has appealed to Rhodes University to use its world class scientific and technological equipment to improve the living conditions of Eastern Cape citizens. Pandor was the guest speaker at the launch of the Rhodes/DST Centre for Nanotechnology Innovation.
The centre will house new nanotechnology equipment, the Time-Of-Flight-Secondary-Ion-Mass-Spectrometer (TOF-SIMS).
This unique piece of equipment will be used by post graduate students and highly skilled industry experts focussing on cancer treatments.
The technology can also be used to improve water quality and for research in alternative energy sources. Pandor says Rhodes University must work closely with the private sector to encourage this sector to make use of this technology.
“In defining and designing a research program we look at what it does with respect to issues of water quality energy resources, we have seen in some of the other institutions where we have equipment in that they have a very interesting piece of work with respect to built environment. So if we can develop through these new technology solutions for socio-economic problems science would have continued to play the very important role it has always has in addressing challenges in society.”
Professor Tebello Nyokong says they have already established working relations with some of the locals.
The Director of the Centre for Nanotechnology Professor Tebello Nyokong says they have already established working relations with some of the locals and business people in the Grahamstown area.
“We have farmers bringing their soil, the other day we had someone bringing grass because he wanted to know how it interact with the environment so a facility like this is not just for the university it is for the people and they are beginning to see the importance of using this technology of understanding their environment and improving their crops.”
Pharmacy students, Muthumi Mananga and Charmaine Tshangana, are excited about the centre.
“It will add quite a lot because you are able to see the whole scope of different characterisation,” says Mananga.
Tshangana is pleased that they will be able to do advanced research.
“This year we went to the UK our lab and they still use floppy discs, this is in the UK and you can imagine how advanced we are.”
Rhodes University will also foster a working relationship with the University of Fort Hare and the Walter Sisulu University to facilitate research at the centre.
Article by: Lubabalo Dada
Article source: SABC