CSIR Unveils South Africa’s Photonics Prototyping Facility.

By Phumzile Mavimbela

South Africa’s Photonics Prototyping Facility (PPF) which is aimed at bolstering the country’s photonics industry, will be launched at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Pretoria campus on Friday, 5 March 2021.

The facility, funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), aims to fast-track the product development of photonics technologies and devices in line with market needs to stimulate growth and competitiveness of the South African photonics industry. It will address the current lack of commercialised photonics products in South Africa by providing world-class specialised photonics facilities, technical support, scarce skills as well as networks needed to facilitate the development of prototypes.

Photonics applications are pervasive in all branches of 21st-century science and engineering and everyday life, including fibre optic information and communication networks and systems, cameras, sensors and imaging systems, illumination systems and displays, applications in the energy sector such as photovoltaic materials and systems, and applications in manufacturing where photonics plays an increasing important part as a tool that support advanced manufacturing technology such as 3D printing.

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