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Uniting global health innovators to tackle epidemic response challenges

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Staff members from the SFA Foundation Grand Challenges Africa initiative pose for a photo with a section of the workshop's attendees.

The Global Immunology and Immune Sequencing for Epidemic Response (GIISER) grantees, under the Grand Challenges Africa initiative of the Science for Africa Foundation is convening a transformative two-day workshop in Pretoria, South Africa, from March 13th to March 15th, 2024. The workshop aims to accelerate collaborative research efforts and drive innovation in addressing pressing global health challenges.

The GIISER grantees workshop purposes to introduce the GIISER network to the esteemed Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) community ,a South African entity with interests in African collaborations. Over two intensive days, participants will engage in activities aimed at supporting ongoing collaborative proposals and developing draft proposals for future calls.

Grand Challenges Africa, renowned for prioritising funding opportunities that harbour high-level quality ideas with groundbreaking, innovative solutions, is spearheading this initiative. Through strategic collaborations between universities, industry, and companies, Grand Challenges aims to catalyse Research and Development (R&D) into technology and industrial growth, while fostering stronger ties between global and African collaborators.

By the end of this transformative workshop, each GIISER site is expected to produce at least one draft collaborative proposal. These proposals may include newly formed partnerships with faculty members from CSIR, aligning with Grand Challenges' objective to enhance program science, strengthen capabilities, and foster opportunities for translation and sustainability.

This workshop serves as a unique platform for GIISER grantees to tap into the vast expertise and resources available within the CSIR community. Through interactive sessions and facilitated discussions, participants will explore potential synergies, exchange ideas, and forge meaningful collaborations that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

The agenda for the workshop crafted to maximise collaboration and knowledge sharing, will cover a wide array of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Introduction to CSIR resources, whereby participants will gain insights into the diverse range of resources and facilities available at CSIR, empowering them to leverage these assets for their research endeavours.
  • Workshop on collaborative proposal development which will be led by experienced facilitators, participants will engage in hands-on activities aimed at refining their collaborative proposals and aligning them with the strategic objectives of the GIISER program.
  • Informal networking sessions will provide participants with the opportunity to connect with fellow researchers, industry experts, and CSIR faculty members, fostering new partnerships and collaborations.
  • Renowned experts in the field of immunology and epidemic response will deliver keynote addresses and participate in panel discussions, offering valuable insights and perspectives on the latest advancements in the field.