Presentation on theme: "PURPOSE OF THE MEETING a) Present background and structural progression of the Natural Fibre Cluster (NFC) b) Present progress in terms of programme/project."— Presentation transcript:
PURPOSE OF THE MEETING a) Present background and structural progression of the Natural Fibre Cluster (NFC) b) Present progress in terms of programme/project implementation and impact c) Outline the strategic importance of NFC in terms of national and provincial priorities d) Elicit recognition of NFC and related required support from provincial departments
Background to the Natural Fibre Cluster 14 April 2011
Introduction CSIR made application to DEDEA for funding to establish a fibre innovation hub. Motivation was the availability of raw fibre resources that provide a distinct economic development opportunity to develop a comprehensive back and forward integrated production and manufacturing platform for value-addition of these fibres for the development of new industries R6m was approved by DEDEA on 13 June 2008 and ECDC were instructed to manage the funding on behalf of DEDEA. The duration of the programme is 2 year and CSIR have submitted 6 quarterly reports Subsequent to DEDEA funding, various other funders also supported this initiative A Strategic Assessment has been completed for the Cacadu district
Funders ECDC: R428 000 CSIR: R400 000 DBSA: R500,000 Parliamentary grants: R6m plus a further R12m (to CSIR) Cacadu DM R1,5m TOTAL Say R21m
Strategic Assessment: Purpose assess the progress in terms of government-funded fibre innovation in the region, assess the potential of the fibre innovation hub as a driver of economic growth and job creation, make recommendations regarding how the hub can potentially be institutionalised and resourced and identify catalytic projects to be taken forward
Strategic Assessment: Recommendations Get a champion for the entity Define the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder better Consider changing the name of the hub Carefully consider where the hub is located Amend contract for funding between CDM & CSIR Integrate the work of the fibre hub into the Regional Innovation Forum
Project Name over Time Fibre Cluster Fibre Cluster R+D Cacadu Fibre Innovation Hub Eastern Cape Fibre Innovation Hub Nerve Cluster for Fibre Research, Processing and Production Natural Fibre Cluster
Institutionalisation Natural Fibre Cluster PSC Under this PSC are 5 working groups: Wool and Mohair working group Flax and Hemp working group Agave working group Pineapple Fibre working group Cashmere working group
Spin offs to Date 173 cashmere farmers are benefiting to-date 33 seasonal hemp jobs created last year (2010) during the 1 st commercial cultivation pilot. CSIR successfully lobbied the dti for following programmes to be part of IPAP2: Cashmere commercialisation Flax & hemp commercialisation Transforming the informal sector (sewing groups) to formal sector (CMT) CSIR is the secretariat for European Cooperative Research Network on Flax and other Bast Plants At present, the whole Network brings together 357 experts from 52 countries in the fields of research, economics, marketing and industry. Much research has been completed which is ready to be considered for commercial pilot phase.
Challenges Many funders = many contracts = many reporting lines = many different project names = duplication To date emphases has been on R+D (a necessary activity requiring huge funding investment and no job guarantees) Liquidation of agave distillers Need to reconfigure institutional arrangements Broaden participation to include other provincial and national departments. Easy access to company information necessary to guide and enhance R&D work.
Way Forward Re-constituting working groups to bring on board more private sector players, parastatals & government. Need to appoint co-ordinator for the Natural Fibre Cluster to consolidate programmes and projects, for the purpose of plotting the development path of the Natural Fibre Cluster. Need to secure funding to commercialise projects, most of which will start in the rural areas and marginalised regions. Also need further funding for more research as this is an ongoing activity.