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PURPOSE OF THE MEETING a) Present background and structural progression of the Natural Fibre Cluster (NFC) b) Present progress in terms of programme/project.

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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:

1 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

2 Background to the Natural Fibre Cluster 14 April 2011

3 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

4 Funders  ECDC: R  CSIR: R  DBSA: R500,000  Parliamentary grants: R6m plus a further R12m (to CSIR)  Cacadu DM R1,5m  TOTAL Say R21m

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 END Thank you


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