The Strategic Research Infrastructure Programme (SRIP) initiative aims to complement the two equipment programmes that are currently managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and aims to support the acquisition, development and upgrade to state-of-the-art research equipment. These programmes include the National Equipment Programme (NEP) and the National Nanotechnology Equipment Programme (NNEP).
The National Research Facilities act as custodians for a number of national research platforms. This custodianship is a multifaceted task, but in essence includes maintenance, upgrade, adaptation and development of the platforms. To do this effectively one needs to undertake research using the platform to ensure that it remains at the leading edge of the research field. This research is undertaken by specialised staff members based at the National Research Facilities.
The National Research Facilities are categorized in three main categories:
The National Nanotechnology Equipment Programme (NNEP) forms part of the implementation of the National Nanotechnology Strategy (NNS), which is directed at positioning South Africa as a player in this rapidly advancing area of science and technology by supporting the acquisition, upgrade or development of research equipment for the analysis and characterisation of nanomaterials.
The strategic context for the National Equipment Programme (NEP) arises from the National Key Research and Technology Infrastructure Strategy, which is informed by the National Research and Development Strategy (NRDS).
The rationale for the implementation of the Equipment Related Mobility and Training Grants (MOBG) is to make funds available to support the larger science community to access state-of-the-art equipment that is not available at their home research institution or region including access to synchrotron facilities and other global research infrastructure. The mobility grants are divided into portfolios of opportunities, namely: