NSTF-South32 Awards,
recognising outstanding contributions to
science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa

Today’s research … tomorrow’s innovation

Nominees announced: 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards   #NSTFawards2019

The new round of Awards – 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards


  1. Special Annual Theme Award: Materials for inclusive economic development – The NSTF is making a special award this year for a contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation for “Materials for inclusive economic development”. This is in recognition of the celebration by the United Nations of the 2019 International Year of the Periodic table of Chemical Elements. Click here for the scope…
  2. The Communication Award for outreach and communicating awareness of SET and innovation within the last 5 years, a leaning towards professional science communicators will now apply.
  3. For the Innovation Awards, we continue with the major change to the Innovation Category introduced last year, for greater emphasis on ‘innovation’. The NSTF wants to shift the focus of this aspect of the Awards more towards the ‘Innovation’ part of the value chain (with somewhat less emphasis on academic research). Read more about the detail of the changes here…
  4. Research categories: Other changes introduced last year are to allow all research categories to be open to anyone involved in research. It was previously implied that a PhD was a pre-requisite. The definition was changed so that a PhD is no longer required, and the focus on the further development of outputs towards innovation were strengthened. The periods are now clearly anchored to the commencement of the research.
  5. The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) is now a category sponsor for the Innovation Award to a corporate organisation.
  6. The deadline for online nomination registrations was 14 December 2018.
  7. Full nomination documents must be submitted by the second deadline, 1 March 2019.

The Categories

Individual Research Awards

These are all made to individuals based in South Africa, and who are South Africans or permanent residents. The individual must have made an outstanding contribution to SET in South Africa in any field of activity relating to research and its outputs. This could include the management of related SET activities necessary for the successful development and diffusion of new or improved products.

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Engineering Research Capacity Development  Awards

The individuals must have demonstrated outstanding leadership in increasing the participation of young engineers and technologists in further research in their chosen SET fields, over the past five to ten years.

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The Green Economy Research and Innovation Award

The NSTF-Green Economy Award recognises researchers and organisations working towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a green economy.

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NSTF-Water Research Commission Award

The Water Research Commission (WRC) has partnered with the NSTF to establish an award that acknowledges outstanding contributions towards sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions.

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Data for Research Award

NSTF Award for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) by advancing the availability, management and use of data for research

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Awards for Innovation and their Research and/or Development

These awards are made to teams or individuals in organisations (corporate and SMMEs) or working independently, who have made outstanding contributions to SET through innovations and their impacts, over the last five to ten years. For assessment of these awards,  underlying research and/or development is taken into account where applicable. For the Corporate and SMME awards, the research must have been done in South Africa. For the independent innovation award, a substantial  aspect of the work must have taken

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Communication Award

The NSTF Award for Communication for Outreach and Creating Awareness of science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation.

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NGO Award

The NSTF NGO Award is for any non-governmental organisation which has made an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa. This includes technology transfer activities contributing to the dissemination and application of scientific and technical knowledge, as well as scientific and technical education and training activities.

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Special Annual Theme Award

For 2019 this Award is made for Materials for inclusive economic development.

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