From the Director’s Board (18/04/2017)
We are almost at the end of the Long Range Plan for the research road map and priorities for the coming 5 to 10 years. I would like at this stage to remind all of us that the process was long in order to have time for discussions and brainstorming within the research departments. In some cases, expert’s committee participated in dedicated workshops to provide outside views and advices. I hope that by the time the documents are finalized, all research actors at iThemba LABS would have exercised their chance to engage, shape and endorse the long term vision of our research activity.
The next step is going to be the discussion with the ‘support’ departments (i.e. HR, Finance and Accelerators and engineering) in order to plan how best to support the research priorities spelt out on the core departmental Long Range Plans; while simultaneously optimizing our human capital and financial resources. We will also have to determine how those ‘support’ structures should themselves evolve in the future both in terms of expertise and infrastructure in order to be the most efficient in delivering on our research objectives.
One important aspect of the Long Range Plan, certainly the most important for iThemba LABS and the country as a whole, is our contribution to the training of young generation of South African researchers and our capacity to generate high level scientists and engineers to take over from the relatively more experienced but retiring generation. I would like to assure our young colleagues that we are not at all overlooking this national priority, and that soon the process is to be commenced of discussing and defining the best means of sharpening our training tools and methods to better achieve efficient expertise knowledge transfer and succession to the younger South African generation.