Armscor bursaries to boost national defence knowledge pool


Armscor’s procurement tasking now also involves skills development, specifically those germane to science and engineering with a bent towards the military.

This in summary is what a tender seeking a service provider for the defence engineering and science university programme (DESUP) open university is about.

Solomzi Mbada, Armscor Group Executive: Corporate Support, elaborated on the tender which closes on Friday 6 July.
“Part of the strategic intent for the 2018/19 medium term expenditure framework as it applies to the Technology Development Master Plan (TDMP) is a science and engineering research and capacity development initiative.
“It aims to create new scientific and engineering knowledge which is non-sensitive but military applicable through funding South African students. This will stimulate the defence technology base and create capacity while at the same time impacting on linked national issues such as education, economic development, transformation as well as business and job creation,” he said.

DESUP is an initiative adopted to advance “the strategic initiatives of a developmental state as defined in the National Development Plan (NDP).”

The programme should create new knowledge, drive technology innovation and capacity development.

This is in line with the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) functional requirement as regards the Armscor interpretation of DESUP.
“It is an enabler to provide solutions for the needs of the SANDF and the South African defence industry,” Mbada said.
“Objectives of DESUP are to enhance the defence technology base in strategic areas through development of skilled human capital, new knowledge and research competence at South African tertiary institutions while improving equity in relation to disability, gender and race in the Defence Science, Engineering and Technology (DSET) sector.
“The programme’s long-term projection is to grow the defence technology base through innovation, qualified under graduates, post graduates and artisans representative of South African demographics. They will join the defence sector and will involve a broad spectrum of local universities and small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) aligned with SANDF strategic research needs,” he said.

Armscor, by way of DESUP, is offering under- and post graduate bursaries for suitably qualified registered full-time South African students “in areas of interest” to the national defence force. No details of DESUP bursaries are currently available with indications this will be a tasking for the successful service provider appointed as per the tender (reference ECCO/2018/08).