Council_for_Scientific_and_Industrial_Research Latitude and Longitude:

25°44′53″S 28°16′34″E / 25.7481°S 28.2762°E / -25.7481; 28.2762
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Formation1945 [1]
TypeResearch and development organisation
Region served
South Africa
President and CEO
Thulani Dlamini [2]
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is South Africa's central and premier scientific research and development organisation. It was established by an act of parliament in 1945 and is situated on its own campus in the city of Pretoria. [3] It is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in Africa and accounts for about 10% of the entire African R&D budget. It has a staff of approximately 3,000 technical and scientific researchers, often working in multi-disciplinary teams.

CSIR contract research and development


The CSIR contract R&D portfolio aims to enable clear understanding of national imperatives and the needs of industry to optimise the impact of the CSIR's R&D outputs. It leverages public, private and international partnerships in support of cutting-edge science, engineering and technology (SET).The organisation has clients in both the private sector (micro, small, medium and large enterprises; formal and informal), as well as in the public sector (national, provincial and local government). The organisation also deals with public enterprises and institutions, national safety and security establishments, and development structures. Regionally and abroad, the CSIR fosters partnerships and a network of clients and partner organisations as part of a global sphere of influence on matters of technology. The CSIR liaises closely with tertiary education institutions. With a strong emphasis on relevant and developmental work, it also has strong roots in various communities, and collaborates with a wide range of donors and funding agencies. The CSIR aims to contribute to the national programme of development, perform relevant knowledge generating research and transferring technology and skilled human capital, and strengthen the science and technology base. The Frascati Manual defines R&D as creative work undertaken systematically to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications. At the CSIR, the research, development and innovation (RDI) chain encompasses, what we term, types A, B and C research:

  • Type A refers to directed basic or applied research that explores the underlying nature of a system
  • Type B talks to experimental development that typically results in a new prototype, which captures new knowledge into a product, service or policy
  • Type C is technology transfer, the first step of knowledge application.

The CSIR operates with two kinds of R&D income, each with its own purpose. The Parliamentary Grant is used for strengthening the CSIR's S&T base - knowledge, people and infrastructure. Secondly, Contract R&D income is derived from performing contract research for clients in the public and private sectors, locally and abroad, on specific programmes, initiatives and projects. All R&D work contributes to the National System of Innovation (NSI).

Presidents and Chief Executive Officers

CSIR Presidents & CEOs
Period Surname Name(s) Date of Birth Date of Death
1945-1950 Schonland Basil Ferdinand Jamieson 2 February 1896 24 November 1972
1950-1952 du Toit Petrus Johann 16 March 1888 13 November 1967
1952-1971 Naude Stefan Meiring 31 December 1904 27 April 1985
1971-1980 Brink Christiaan van der Merwe 5 May 1915
1980-1990 Garbers Christoph Friedrich 21 August 1929
1990-1995 Clark James Brian 27 January 1949
1995-2000 Garrett Geoff
2002-2008 Sibisi Sibusiso
2008-2017 Sibisi Sibusiso
2017–present Dlamini Thulani

Research areas

The CSIR's main areas of research

  • Built Environment
  • Biosciences
  • Defence, Peace, Safety and Security
  • Information and Communications
  • Laser Technology
  • Materials Science and Manufacturing
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
  • Mining Innovation
  • Modelling and Digital Science
  • Mobile Intelligence Autonomous Systems
  • Nanotechnology
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Remote Sensing



In 1999 a strategic alliance was formed between the University of Pretoria and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. [5] This alliance, which is known as the Southern Education and Research Alliance (SERA), collaborates locally and internationally with universities, NGO's, companies and multinational bodies in various research areas. [6]



In July 2016 the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism published an article that alleges that South Africa's Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and Director-General Phil Mjwara were attempting to put undue pressure the CSIR, at the behest of The corrupt ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, to favour the Chinese multinational Huawei Technologies in the purchase of a new R116-million (equivalent to around US$8 million) super computer for the institute. This followed the publication of the council's long time CEO, Sibusiso Sibisi's, open letter of resignation stating that irregularities and political pressure on the awarding of contracts to suppliers was of great concern. [7]

In a well-known case of biopiracy, bioprospectors from South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research realized that Hoodia was marketable (after a marketing campaign falsely claiming that it was an appetite suppressant for weight loss) and patented its use as an appetite suppressant without recognizing the San people's traditional claims to the knowledge of the plant and its uses. [8] The patent was later sold to Unilever, which marketed hoodia products as diet supplements. [9] [10] [11] In 2003, the South African San Council made an agreement with CSIR in which they would receive from 6 to 8% of the revenue from the sale of Ho. gordonii products, money which would be deposited in a fund to purchase land for the San people who had been dispossessed from their lands by migrating tribes. [12]


  1. ^ Profile of the CSIR Archived 24 July 2012 at 6 October 2011.
  2. ^ [1]. 9 February 2017.
  3. ^ Profile of the CSIR Archived 24 July 2012 at Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  4. ^ CSIR contract research & development partnerships Archived 15 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  5. ^ Highlights and Achievements Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  6. ^ SERA Relationships and Links Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  7. ^ amaBhungane (1 July 2016). "amaBhungane: CSIR's supercomputer tender and the theatre of the absurd that followed it". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  8. ^ Maharaj, VJ, Senabe, JV, and Horak, RM. 2008. Hoodia, a case study at CSIR. Science real and relevant: 2nd CSIR Biennial Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre Pretoria, 17&18 November 2008, pp 4 [2] [3]
  9. ^ Indigenous Peoples, Consent and Benefit Sharing: Lessons from the San-Hoodia Case ( Rachel Wynberg, Doris Schroeder, Roger Chennells Springer, 4 December 2009
  10. ^ Saskia Vermeylen. 2007. Contextualizing ‘Fair’ and ‘Equitable’: The San's Reflections on the Hoodia Benefit-Sharing Agreement Local Environment Vol. 12, Iss. 4,
  11. ^ Rachel Wynberg 2010 Hot air over Hoodia | 13 October 2010 | Seedling
  12. ^ Inventing Hoodia: Vulnerabilities and Epistemic Citizenship. 2011. CSW update APRIL "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2013.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)

External links

25°44′53″S 28°16′34″E / 25.7481°S 28.2762°E / -25.7481; 28.2762