TUT hosts first-ever online appropriate technology conference 

9 November 2020

By Bongani Ramatsetse

In a first for the Tshwane University of Technology, it  will host and sponsor the prestigious 9th International Conference of Appropriate Technology (9th ICAT) online. It is only the 2nd time the ICAT will be held in South Africa and due to global COVID-19 pandemic, ICAT will be hosted in a virtual format.

Professor Alfred Trimble, the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Organised by the International Network on Appropriate Technology (INAT), the bi-annual ICAT aims at assembling networks on Appropriate Technology (AT) solutions through innovative thinking, and community empowerment through AT contributions to knowledge exchange.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Technology Exchange and Employment Creation for Community Empowerment: Cross-Pollinating Innovative models”. This presents an opportunity for all communities to contribute with their innovative ideas from different nations, both from wealthier communities and the disadvantaged ones. 

Professor Alfred Trimble from the Department of Industrial Engineering TUT and convenor of the conference, shared how this year’s theme differs from previous ones. “We decided on ‘technology exchange’ instead of ‘technology transfer’ because we wanted to emphasise the fact that all communities can contribute.  The focus on this exchange of technology absolutely has to include employment creation.”

One of the most crucial aspects that will be highlighted, is the Technological Fair for academics and newly established business that engages appropriate technologies through their products and services. This will allow them to showcase their projects through virtual environments. It will also assist their businesses or projects to gain more exposure. The Technological Fair is free and open to anyone.

A lot of effort is put into attracting students and the public to attend this conference, Professor Trimble said, “Through the support of the NRF and other sponsors we can fund the attendance of several students for the entire conference.  We are encouraging schools, student organisations and teachers to contact us to arrange for sponsorship for their students”. The conference is scheduled from 23 to 27 November. Professor Trimble pointed out that there will be a two-day workshop on Appropriate Technology for medium-scale Farms and various two-hour workshops, including virtual reality programming, 3D printing, socially relevant research and open building and appropriate technology.

The public is invited to join this experience. For more information; find details on the program at - http://appropriatetech.net/index.php/icat9#programme 

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 5352   Email: deruyterw@tut.ac.za