Some of the identified collaboration areas include:
- Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) / future of work - policy lessons from the EU (focusing on the experiences of a select number of relevant EU country case studies)
- Opportunities and constraints to the transfer of international knowledge and skills in South Africa (focusing on the experiences of foreign companies based in South Africa)
- A series of structured engagements between researchers, private companies (EU and SA) and policy makers on some of the key issues emerging in this area, ideally linked to the above research.
- Some mechanism to involve postgraduates in the research /engagements.
Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, as well as task team leader for the Institute for the Future of Work, said the strategic essence of the Institute is its focus on mutually beneficial partnerships with public and private sector organisations. These include higher learning institutions with outstanding international stature, science councils, funding agencies, as well as local and multinational businesses.
“We have worked tirelessly to bring the EUD on board and I must recognise and appreciate our Chairperson of Council, Tilson Manyoni, our Deputy Chairperson of Council, Thabang Chiloane; Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Lourens van Staden; Dr Nkgatho Tlale, DVC: Operations; Brenda Watson, Director: Corporate Affairs and Marketing; Prof Herbert Maserumule, Executive Dean at the Faculty of Humanities; and Jonas Magedi, Advisor to the VC for their efforts. We are making strides as a collective and we are proud of the remarkable developments,” said Dr Papu-Zamxaka.
The Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) will house four programmes - a Technology Hub, Smart Campus Platform, 4IR/Future of Work Research and Projects, as well as an Annual 4IR/Future of Work Dialogue. The Tech-Hub task team is currently also working towards the realisation of the goals set. Task team members include Dr Papu- Zamxaka; Dr SJ Jacobs, Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; Prof Khumbulani Mpofu (appointed Senior Expert and Manager for the collaboration project); Dr Etienne van Wyk, Executive Dean: ICT; and Mafika Nkambule, Director at ICT.
In conclusion, Dr Papu-Zamxaka said the EUD has extensive experience in the development of 4IR technologies while they are also heavily invested in local industries that create opportunities. “Beyond the broader population, the youth, women and differently abled people stand to gain future skills and entrepreneurial opportunities for the social compact South Africa and the continent need through collaborative exploitation of advanced 4IR technologies”.