Sasol, NRF call for energy transition and green economy solution proposals

17th September 2021 By: Donna Slater - Creamer Media Contributing Editor and Photographer

Integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol and the National Research Foundation (NRF) are requesting research proposals on science and engineering projects that can enable Sasol’s and South Africa’s energy transition, as well as the development of the country’s green economy.

Of interest to Sasol is research in hydrogen production, renewable energy, energy storage and carbon dioxide conversion to chemical and fuels – all key areas critical to enabling its environmental and business sustainability goals.

The call for applications for Sasol-NRF Research Grants for 2022 is also intended to enhance South African tertiary institutions’ research capacity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, thereby addressing some of the key scarce skill gaps identified by the NRF.

NRF strategic partnerships executive director Dr Aldo Stroebel says the demand for innovative solutions that respond to socioeconomic challenges and opportunities results in an increasing need for collaboration between industry and academia.

“This prominent partnership will accelerate the co-creation of knowledge for impact, and skills development, addressing the critical sustainability agenda.”

Sasol says it has a long history of funding research at South African universities through contract research and student bursaries. Over the past 16 years, it has also contributed more than R300-million through its Research and Technology (R&T) University Collaboration Programme, which provides research grants to academics for projects in the key disciplines of chemistry and chemical engineering.

Sasol research and technology senior VP Dr Thembakazi Mali says the R&T University Collaboration Programme provides Sasol with a unique opportunity to not only support local academia, but also leverage external research efforts to find solutions to the complex technical challenges that must be addressed as part of Sasol’s climate change response efforts.

She says Sasol R&T will also provide research grant recipients with additional support in the form of access to technical expertise and equipment.

The call for proposals will close on October 29. Interested parties can send their applications by email to sasolgrants@sasol.com.

Application documents can be found on the NRF’s website.