The South African Government’s Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Rob Adam, and the Islamic Government of Iran’s Deputy Minister for Education Research and Technology, Professor Masoud Shafiee, recognise the immense contribution science and technology can bring in the development of the lives of people of the two countries.

This is a follow-up to the 2000 scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries to leverage opportunities by exchanging scientists, researchers, specialists and scholars; exchange scientific information; and organisation of bilateral scientific and technical training programmes in areas of mutual interest.

Subsequent to the discussions held on Monday, 12 August 2003, at Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, the two governments agreed to the establishment of a Joint Committee that will, amongst other things,

* facilitate the exchange of information on the functioning of science and technology systems between the two countries;
* identify the relevant science and technology institutions responsible for implementation of the science and technology agreement.
* jointly coordinate and review science and technology cooperation from time to time.
* identify funding mechanisms and training programmes for science and technology development between the two countries.

As part of scientific and technological cooperation, it is agreed that the Second Session of the Joint Committee be held in 2004 at Tehran in Iran.

We also recognise the dire need for joint research projects. In this regard, our countries will identify a nodal point, which will develop joint research projects. An invitation for expression of interest will be extended out to the identified research institutions in both countries.

As part of the technology development, the two counties undertake to jointly cooperate in the useful application of micro-satellite and remote sensing satellite technologies such as in agriculture, disaster management, etc and collaboration of each segment of technology such as ground segment, launch segment etc. Other flagship projects identified in gas-to-liquid conversion technology will be developing a training programme on Fischer-Tropsch Catalyst, establishing a joint workshop on project management and environmental impact of petrochemical industries on water quality, and developing a feasibility study and training aspects on the existing collaboration between PetroSA and Staoil of Norway.

To strengthen Laser Technologies, a joint research group will be established to consolidate the projects that require funding. Some of the projects identified will focus on, amongst other things, health applications, laser applications, applications and application in production engineering.

We are confident that this cooperation agreement is geared to address critical scientific and technological developmental challenges confronting both countries and will immensely contribute to their economic development to the benefit of our people.

Issued jointly by the Offices of South Africa’s Department of Science & Technology & Iran’s Minister of Education, Research & Technology