Staff of the Directorate of Research and Innovation (DRI) at University of Venda recently hosted a delegation from the Water Research Commission (WRC) which was led by the Group Executive Manager: Research and Development (R & D), Dr Stanley Liphadzi, on a Roadshow. The Roadshow which took place at UNIVEN was twofold: first to the UNIVEN researchers and students on 05 March 2019; and secondly to staff of municipalities within the Vhembe District on the 06 March 2019. The Roadshow was opened by the Director Research and Innovation, Senior Professor GE Ekosse. In his opening remarks, he encouraged both staff and students to pay attention to the various openings available at WRC through which research projects could be sponsored. 

Senior Professor GE Ekosse giving the opening remarks during the Roadshow 

Members of the delegation from WRC were Dr Stanley Liphadzi- Group Executive R&D, Prof Sylvester Mpandeli- Acting Executive Manager, Ms Shirley Machelesi- Executive Assistant R&D, Ms Virginia Molose- Research Manager, Mr Tiyani Chauke- Manager International Projects, .Ms Zama Zulu- Marketing & Events Officer and .Mr Sifiso Mazibuko- Communications Officer. 2 

Group Executive Manager: Research and Development, Dr Stanley Liphadzi actively making his presentations to the engaged audience 

The WRC engages both political leadership and technical teams working on water programmes to disseminate guidelines and tools in various parts of South Africa. Universities conduct research on water and water related issues. Postgraduate students work through their supervisors and promoters in various research projects sponsored by WRC. It was an excellent knowledge exchange platform for creating awareness on tools and projects relevant to municipal water services (wastewater, sanitation and drinking water), water use in agriculture, water resources management (water-linked ecosystems, hydrology, resource quality, climate change and governance). The roadshows include the sharing of knowledge with regards to the Water Research Development and Innovation Roadmap, Water Demonstration Programme Technology and Technology Transfer. Additionally, these roadshows help to keep the Commission informed about the urgent research needs expressed by the municipalities and strengthens links both at technical and political levels. 

The theme for the Roadshow was “Reflecting on Water and Sanitation Research & Innovation agenda”. Presentations which were made included: 

– Water and Sanitation Research & Innovation, Research Funding Opportunities (migration to the new system) – Dr Stanley Liphadzi; 

– An overview of current and emerging Research Priorities from KSAs, lighthouses and the WRC knowledge tree; 

– Water Utilisation in Agriculture – an overview; 

– Water Resource Management / Alternative Water Sources / Hydrology / Climate Change /Water Linked Ecosystems; 

– Water Innovations / Water RDI and Intellectual Property; and 

– International Relations and Cooperation. 

The Dean of School of Environmental Sciences – Professor John Odiyo shared his experience working on a number of research projects sponsored by WRC. 

Director DRI – Senior Professor GE Ekosse; Dean of School of Environmental Sciences – Professor John Odiyo, and members of the WRC Delegation 

Group photo of some of the participants of the WRC – UNIVEN Roadshow 

In making the closing remarks, Senior Professor Ekosse urged staff and students of UNIVEN to submit fundable proposals to WRC and encouraged the members of the WRC Delegation to always consider submissions from UNIVEN in a positive light. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 26 March 2019