Work of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Relating to Arts & Culture
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Work of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Relating to Arts & Culture Prepared for: The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture. Dr Rocky Skeef Tuesday 08 March 2005. Business of the NRF.

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Work of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Relating to Arts & Culture

Prepared for:

The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture

Dr Rocky Skeef

Tuesday 08 March 2005


Business of the NRF Arts & Culture

To promote & support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities


Specific Initiatives Involving NRF which Relate to Arts & Culture

  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS)

  • Human Language Technologies (HLT)


NRF Focus Areas for Research Funding from Parliamentary Core Grant

(approx R240M for 2004/05)

Unlocking the Future

Distinct SA Research Opportunities

Conservation & Management of Ecosystems & Biodiversity

Economic Growth & International Competitiveness

Education & the Challenges for Change

Indigenous Knowledge Systems (R10M)

ICT & the Information Society

Socio-political Impact of Globalisation

Sustainable Livelihoods


Specific Objectives for GrantIKS Focus Area

Support postgraduate training in IKS

Develop & expand the IKS research field

IK science outreach

Establish academic & intellectual support base for IKS in SA

Develop an information management system for IKS

Encourage & support research initiatives on language & IKS



Specific Arts, Crafts & Materials Projects Grant

IKS, Design & African Independent Churches

Investigating the role of IKS on the design of African religious artifacts amongst the African Independent Churches in Jhb & surrounding areas.

Rock Art Research Institute

Developing a history for the development of IKS of pre-colonial Southern Africa using evidence provided by rock art.



Rationale Initiative

  • Recognition of the need for a HLT Centre with following functions:

  • Research, coordination & consultation

  • Acquisition, enhancement & management of digital text & speech data for all official languages as reusable resources for development of HLT applications

  • Development of specialised open-source software for Natural Language Processing

  • HR development through implementation of HLT training & reskilling programmes


Developments Initiative



Existing Research Capacity in HLT Initiative

  • Within University of Stellenbosch:

  • Research Unit for Experimental Phonology (RUEPUS) in Dept of African Languages

  • Digital Speech Processing (DSP) group within Dept Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Was short-listed in assessing proposals for establishment of DST CoEs


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