The FIP-WEF@SU was established in 2020 by Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Fraunhofer). The aim of this long-term cooperation is to jointly develop needs-based technological and cross-sectoral solutions for water, energy and food security.

SU is a leading research university in South Africa and Fraunhofer is one of Europe’s leading research organisations serving the needs of society and industry.

Through the FIP-WEF@SU, SU’s Faculties of Engineering, Science and AgriSciences, under the auspices of the SU Water Institute (SUWI) and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) collaborate with the SysWasser and Energy Alliances of Fraunhofer to share resources and co-develop project proposals.

Within the FIP-WEF@SU, SU and Fraunhofer cooperate in project areas related to materials, processes and technologies relevant to the Water-Energy-Food-Nexus, to enable the implementation of research in industry, the improvement of the quality of life for all the people of Africa, as well as the training of technical and research staff. Applied- and demand-oriented research and development is jointly promoted through close cooperation with industry and within the framework of publicly funded projects. The FIP-WEF@SU covers the entire innovation chain from basic research to industrial implementation.

The FIP-WEF@SU develops systemic solutions in integrated environmental protection for industry, cities and regions. The field of activity extends to the development of concepts, processes as well as individual technologies and products with the aim of achieving the highest possible resource efficiency, keeping recycling management in mind.

Main focus areas of the FIP-WEF@SU;

  • Joint research projects within the FIP-WEF@SU and at various Fraunhofer Institutes to gain new knowledge based on specific technology development areas and requests from industry, application of knowledge already gained to specific areas, joint development of products and services, and production procedures;
  • Testing and pre-production piloting of new technology and processes at Fraunhofer Institutes and the FIP-WEF@SU, and development of application-oriented procedures;
  • Joint evaluation of, and expert opinions on general or specific problems;
  • International research programs (funded by province/state, federal, or other sources);
  • Joint lectures and training courses on selected topics;
  • Student and academic exchange programs;
  • Commercialisation and Technology Transfer of the Intellectual Property developed as part of the research; and
  • Contract research for industry.

The FIP-WEF@SU was officially established with signing of the agreement in Stellenbosch in February 2020 by the President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Prof-Dr Reimund Neugebauer and the Vice-Rector (Research, Innovation & Postgraduate Studies), Prof Eugene Cloete.

The official kick-off meeting of the FIP-WEF@SU took place online in May 2020 and the first online strategic workshop was conducted in July 2020.