Gauteng Research Triangle: UP, UJ and Wits commit to research collaboration

Posted on September 30, 2019

The vice-chancellors of the universities of Pretoria, Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand have agreed to explore opportunities for establishing a globally competitive research collaborative in Gauteng.

According to UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe, “The scientific community is being called upon to solve problems on an ever-widening scale, and in an increasingly connected manner. Responding appropriately will require sophisticated analytic approaches and cross-institutional collaborations. In this environment, the contributions of single institutions are not significant enough in scale and scope, and partnerships and alliances open the possibility of collectively contributing to greater scientific outcomes.”

He explained that the three institutions are well-positioned to establish a high- impact research collaboration – all are ranked among the top higher education institutions in South Africa in terms of their research, and together the three institutions produced close to one third of all publication outputs in 2017. “Given their geographic proximity and areas of shared research strength, there is significant potential to establish a partnership that delivers outcomes of noteworthy scientific relevance and creativity with the potential to catalyse large-scale change that directly addresses persistent national and African challenges.”

A cross-institutional committee was established to develop a proposal for the Gauteng Research Triangle, and a joint meeting to discuss ideas for the collaboration was held between the vice-chancellors deputy vice-chancellors recently at UP’s Future Africa Campus. All three institutions affirmed their commitment to the collaboration and have mandated the committee to develop a detailed proposal for moving forward.   

Prof Kupe said the Gauteng Research Triangle would undertake a range of activities, including the launch of a large-scale flagship project that transcends disciplines and focuses on solving problems across boundaries. “The flagship project is intended to leverage the synergies of collaboration to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes that none of the institutions would be able to accomplish alone. Although one of the primary goals will be to enable global competitiveness in research, the project’s portfolio of activities will be designed to translate this leading research into national and regional impact.” Partnerships with stakeholders in government, industry and civil society will be core to design and implementation from the outset.

In addition to its flagship project, the collaborative will identify a limited number of areas for more focused research collaboration in areas of mutual strength. Apart from widening the scope and scale of research that can be addressed, this will offer the opportunity to share resources for capacity building and research, as well as space for exchange and networking.

Moving forward, the cross-institutional committee, led by Professor Frans Swanepoel, Director of Strategic International Partnerships at UP, will continue its work of developing a concrete proposal and plan for action for the Gauteng Research Triangle. Initial activities under the partnership are set to launch in 2020.

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences