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Strengthening the SAEON platform

"Although the national science budget remains under pressure, SAEON hopes to make significant contributions to the Department of Science and Technology’s Global Change Grand Challenge." - Johan Pauw, Managing Director, SAEON.
Prof Richard Cowling is the NRF’s new representative on the SAEON Advisory Board. His expertise in biodiversity and conservation projects and policies will
bring new perspectives to the overall management of SAEON.
 
Johan Pauw, Managing Director, SAEON
 

SAEON is set to experience further growth and restructuring in 2010.

The nodes that are already operational will be strengthened by the appointment of extra scientific staff, and additional research equipment will be provided to nodes according to their specific needs.

The two nodes that have remained unstaffed will receive office and laboratory infrastructure to coincide with a concerted effort to appoint suitable staff. The SAEON National Office will also be expanded to provide appropriate support services and leadership to the nodes.

SAEON’s capacity to collaborate with government departments, industry and academia will be significantly enhanced by these developments. Already numerous such collaborations are in force and numbers have just been boosted through the National Research Foundation’s award of three SAEON-based grants to the Universities of Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan — to a total value of R 3,1m over three years.

New Advisory Board members

SAEON would like to welcome Prof Richard M Cowling of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who has been appointed as the National Research Foundation’s representative on the SAEON Advisory Board. Richard needs little introduction as an A1-rated researcher and his expertise in biodiversity and conservation projects and policies will bring new perspectives to the overall management of SAEON. We also welcome Shonisani Munzhedzi as the new representative of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Shonisani, who has a background in biodiversity management and policy, is Chief Director for Biodiversity and Heritage at DEA.

Second SAEON Summit

With SAEON being a network organisation, we would like to re-emphasise our dependence on the constructive contributions by SAEON’s numerous participants and co-sponsors. The year ahead will also see the second SAEON Summit. Details for this much anticipated event will be announced soon. SAEON-relevant papers from all our participants will be most welcome.

Finally, although the national science budget remains under pressure, SAEON hopes to make significant contributions to the Department of Science and Technology’s Global Change Grand Challenge through its growing list of publications, long-term observation projects, science meetings, schools programmes, information management systems and support platforms for participants.

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