As an important pillar of economic growth, as well as a means to empower people to actively participate in the development and transformation of society, education runs as a red thread throughout the programme. In addition to a number of specifically education-related sessions, the theme will also manifest itself in many of the sector-specific events as one of the two cross-cutting themes of House of the Future.
Building on a long tradition of education cooperation between The Netherlands and South Africa over 150 years, there is a great variety of existing links, partnerships and joint programmes. The House of the Future will provide a platform for schools, universities, research institutes, funding organisations, training providers, government departments and businesses to engage, connect and share knowledge and experiences. They will showcase existing collaborations and explore new opportunities of working together, particularly in the areas of capacity building and skills development, as well as research.
In the spirit of #cocreatesa, pupils, students, academics, researchers, business people, as well as representatives of government and civil society will join forces and make a contribution towards achieving sustainable and innovative solutions for local challenges
Entrepreneurship, innovation and internationalisation have been key drivers behind the economic prosperity of both The Netherlands and South Africa. In order to achieve higher structural growth, South Africa and The Netherlands agree that young entrepreneurs will play a crucial role in accomplishing this in coming years. It is through entrepreneurs that new business opportunities are sought out and exploited. And it is through entrepreneurs that innovations are brought to the market – raising productivity and creating jobs.
Both countries have a strategic focus on the youth as they are seen as future leaders with high potential to become individual economic engines and that is why entrepreneurship is one of the two crosscutting themes of House of the Future.
During House of the Future, a variety of events, bootcamps and interactive discussions are organized. These will provide a communication platform amongst the various stakeholders of the initiative and will allow the audience and the speakers to express their opinions, get inspired and share their future aspirations. The speakers will range from government ministers and influential business leaders to successful Dutch and South African young entrepreneurs. In addition the 4th edition of TEDx Johannesburg will take place on the 20th of November.
South Africa and The Netherlands are both healthcare innovators –respectively performing the first human heart transplant and creating the first artificial heart. The cooperation opportunities are endless and include making quality healthcare available to rural communities, developing sustainable building solutions for health facilities, and optimizing logistic and ICT innovations for healthcare supply chains.
The Netherlands healthcare sector is characterized by a keen willingness to share knowledge and create open innovative partnerships, which has also been intricate to its success. Dutch healthcare companies would like to continue this in the House of the Future where they will, amongst others, focus on technological advancements for healthcare training and education. This includes 3D surgical training apps for doctors and web-based platforms to support continuous professional development in the nursing sector.
The House of the Future will also facilitate discussions on the role of healthcare infrastructure to bridge the gap between public and private healthcare. In addition, there is an open invitation to speak to the Dutch companies that will be present during the week with specific expertise on healthcare logistics, mental healthcare, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, ICT innovations and turn-key healthcare projects.
The water partnership between The Netherlands and South Africa involves both the public and private sector. Since 2013, the two countries have endorsed the cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Environment (I&M). Dutch water authorities have well established relationships with the South African Catchment Management Agencies (CMA’s).
The House of the Future will be a platform to celebrate the vibrant water partnership between South Africa and The Netherlands. More than 20 representatives from public and private organisations will join Dutch Prime Minister Rutte on his visit to South Africa.
On November 16th they will meet with South African officials and companies to explore how innovative ways can be found to ensure better sanitation solutions and mine water treatment. On November 17th, Dutch and South African experts will come together to discuss how The Netherlands may be able to assist in devising a master plan for the water sector in South Africa. Senior officials from both countries, lead by DWS DG Margaret-Ann Diedricks and Dutch Water Envoy Henk Ovink, will meet on how the cooperation may be extended in the coming years.
In recent years The Netherlands’ and South Africa’s relationship in the field of agriculture, food production and international trade has evolved to the benefit of both countries.
South Africa with all its natural abundance and a diverse climate has a great future ahead for agriculture and food production, if resources are used in an efficient and smart way. It can also play a guiding role in Africa in becoming a main supplier of food beyond its borders. The Dutch are eager to help in shaping this future and jointly with South Africa will find the best mix of technology, skills development and markets to cocreate a better world.
One can experience the core of the two countries’ current cooperation in the House of the Future by participating in events promoting innovations, skills development and new business models such as Agroparks. Scarcity of water, rising prices of energy and fertilizers, and the introduction of new technologies, drive farmers to carefully consider the way forward for their businesses. The Netherlands believes that by working together with South Africa in developing the right concepts they can jointly benefit from what both countries have to offer.
The Netherlands plays a key role in the transport and logistics corridors of today’s globalised economy. One of the country’s key strengths as the “Gateway to Europe” is its integrated approach to multi-modal logistics. The Netherlands is home to more distribution centres than anywhere else in Europe, indicating the strength of Dutch transport and logistics services.
South Africa is the “Doorway to Africa”. The country is a continental leader in terms of transport and logistical sophistication. The South African government has highlighted the transport sector as a key contributor to the country’s global competitiveness and acknowledged the role that transport-related infrastructure can play in stimulating economic growth and social development in the region. As gateway countries, reliant on efficient logistics, The Netherlands and South Africa can learn from each other and strengthen each country’s position as distribution centre of its continent.
Both South Africa and The Netherlands are committed to reaching ambitious emission reduction targets and have designed policies to stimulate the uptake of clean energy solutions. In The Netherlands, 47 organisations negotiated an ‘Agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth’ in 2013. In South Africa, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has been a great success.
The Dutch renewable energy and energy efficiency industry has significant expertise in several fields of clean energy, especially in waste-to-energy and bio-energy. In the private sector, Dutch companies introduce high-end quality techniques and products in renewable energy generation and smart solutions for off-grid electrification. South Africa offers strong research institutes, rich renewable sources and many successful projects in renewable energy. Together they can be strategic partners in finding new innovative energy solutions.
Together with their South African partners, The Netherlands is formulating a strategy for the usage of biomass for electricity production. During The House of the Future there will be a full-day workshop on this successful project and a discussion with industry experts on how they can extend their strong cooperation in biomass. Other sessions include small-scale waste transformers, grid-connected renewable energy systems and smart meters.