Through continued partnerships and collaborations, effective contact with the private sector, public sector and broader community becomes value-adding in addressing everyday needs in the business world.
Complexities associated with economic growth and the ever changing status quo in business places further impetus on the need to draw expertise in different fields for purposes of achieving strategic goals.
Being multidisciplinary in nature is a value proposition that Business Enterprises at University (Pty) Ltd (BE at UP) together with its internal stakeholders, continues to offer industry at large whereby contract research and consulting is incorporated to give exceptional services and solutions that can be packaged into a custom value framework.
With the University of Pretorias identified Institutional Research Themes (IRTs) in mind, the exploitation of opportunities in identified markets remains a strategic focus which also involves optimising existing business relations with stakeholders; building and strengthening individual and institutional networks for possible contract research and consulting work undertaken through BE at UP which can contribute to research outputs and the transfer of knowledge to industry, students and academics of the University. The execution of strategic interventions and various projects in related fields makes it possible for BE at UP to also serve as a platform for contributing towards improving research to address complex societal issues of importance by delivering personalised quality services to clients and assisting them with effective decision-making, based on sound research.
Chief Executive Officer
Business Enterprises at University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd
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Converting Information Into Evidence
Through cutting edge technology and expertise, BE at UP specialists at the Unit for Intelligent Digital Forensics (IDF) offers the very latest in customised forensic solutions to provide clear and accurate answers to real-world problems. The IDF unit, housed in the EBIT Faculty under the auspices of the Department of Computer Science, is a joint initiative between the University of Pretoria and Risk Diversion, a leading Digital Forensics company. The IDF not only offers services to industry but also provides opportunities to staff and especially students to gain experience in the application and implementation of Digital Forensic knowledge.
Computer Forensic and Cellular Forensic Investigations combine various skills in an investigative methodology, in order to gather strong and sufficient evidence. Services provided by the IDF unit include Computer Forensic Investigation and Analysis, Cell Phone Forensic Investigation and Analysis, Solid State Forensic Investigation and Analysis, Data recovery and analysis, Expert legal opinion, Card reader forensics and artificial intelligence to name a few.
The Unit for Intelligent Digital Forensics Lab comprises industry leading technologies such as Encase Forensic, Accessdata, XRY Mobile Device forensic suite and several other technologies used in the investigation of digital forensics. It is geared to conduct advanced research into the Digital Forensics field.
Due to its cutting edge position in science, the IDF unit allows participants to become active in the most recent forefront of their disciplines. This affords ample opportunity for research in both the basic and applied commercial domains. The multidisciplinary approach that the IDF unit requires combines not only the expertise of Computer Science but Accounting and Forensic Auditing, Engineering with a focus on Micro Electronics, Law in the applications of crime scene management, expert witness court procedures and the Humanities including Criminology, Psychological profiling, Sociology and potentially other fields of specialisation.
Launch of the Institutional Research Theme (IRT): Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing
The University of Pretoria has established an Institutional Research Theme (IRT) named FOOD, NUTRITION AND WELL-BEING. The Institutional Research Theme seeks to address the emerging societal challenges related to food insecurity, nutrition deficiencies, and hunger especially in Africa.
Just more than a week after G8 leaders had renewed their shared commitment to global food security through the New Alliance for Food Nutrition, the largest group of food researchers anywhere in the world launched a collaborative platform at the University of Pretoria (UP) with the same goal in mind. The Institute was officially launched on Monday 28 May 2012
. Ms Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme, was the guest speaker. IFNuW gives momentum to the fight against hunger, malnutrition and disease by offering more than 100 researchers from five faculties and more than 30 academic departments, units and centres an opportunity to work beyond traditional knowledge boundaries.
As part of celebrating the launch, simultaneous Indabas (meetings on a serious issue) were held. Participants included invited stakeholders from national and local government and international partners. The purpose of the Indabas was to share what UP researchers have learnt from research within the five key thematic areas of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Well-being, reflecting on its value and our vision of research for the future; and learn from international and local experience of the challenges and successes with regard to these topics. The Indabas were also aimed at engaging in open dialogue to identify priorities for research in these areas and discuss how to put research to use in policy and practice; and identify partnerships to take these priorities forward.
The respective themes of the five simultaneous Indabas were:
Indaba A: Overcoming constraints to livestock production for food security
Indaba B: Food Safety
Indaba C: Can our indigenous African foods alleviate malnutrition and obesity in South Africa?
Indaba D: Strategies for schools to contribute to nutrition and well-being
Indaba E: Instruments for evidence-based food security policy and programme planning
According to Prof Sheryl Hendriks, the Director of the Institute, from the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; IFNuW is aimed atseeking to address underlying vulnerabilities and find ways of building a more resilient agriculture and food system to reduce hunger and malnutrition and promote consumption behaviour that will ensure human productivity and overall well-being.
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New Faces at BE at UP
BE at UP adopted an approach to broaden its skills base and capacity by employing trainees that completed their masters degree at UP, as Assistants: Contract Research and Consulting, to support our managers for one year. This initiative provides an opportunity for masters graduates to gain real work experience through on the job training, enhancing their chances of obtaining work in the future significantly. At the same time BE at UP has the benefit of their research expertise for the contracting period, whereby our service delivery to our clients is improved. BE at UP currently employ four Assistants in this position and look forward to further support and grow this initiative in the future.
s role involves assisting on all related project work under the Quality Unit, Geology, Human Resource Management, and School for Public Management and Administration (SPMA), Engineering and Economics portfolio, managed by Mr Hein Barnard. Ilse studied Psychology at the University of Pretoria and holds an Honours degree in Criminology. She enjoys sword-fighting, ballet and has an interest in reptiles.
assists in the Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Law and Industrial and Systems engineering portfolio managed by Jaco Snyman. Agnes holds a Bcom Honours degree in Industrial Psychology. Reading, running and dancing is what she enjoys most.
assists in the Health Faculty portfolio managed by Celia da Silva which includes the National Tissue Bank and the Clinical Trials Unit. She holds a BA (Psychology and Education) Degree, a BSocSci Psychology Degree and is currently completing her dissertation for her MA in Research Psychology. Gladys is an avid reader, theatre-goer, creates mosaics, and wines and dines for relaxation.
joined the Finance division of BE at UP on 1 May 2012 as Assistant Project Accountant. Godleys role encompasses the full financial administration of projects within his portfolio. Godley holds a National Diploma in Internal Auditing from Tshwane University of Technology. Godly is a soccer fanatic but loves karate as well.
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Partnership between UP and GDARD through BE at UP, looks at Fresh Produce Supply Chain Risks faced by Smallholders
BE at UPs specialists from the University of Pretorias Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development as well as the newly established Institute for Food Security, Nutrition and Wellbeing were contracted to assist the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) to investigate fresh produce supply chain risks faced by smallholders in the province.
The project was awarded following a submission to a call for research proposals as part of the provinces strategic drive to support economic growth to reduce hunger and poverty.
The project is aimed at evaluating the supply chain and associated risks for smallholder farmers of fresh produce in Gauteng to mitigate food security risks. A survey of smallholders will be conducted on three sites in collaboration with GDARD Extension Staff.
The objective of these interviews is to assess stakeholder perceptions on risk exposure and mitigation and management strategies across the fresh produce supply chain and support services. The final policy and programme recommendations will assist GDARD in the design and implementation of future agriculture programmes and refinement of the current policy to ensure an enabling environment of smallholder engagement in these markets.
The project provides an opportunity for BE at UP specialists to contribute to local development and support the provinces efforts and to address poverty alleviation, food security and economic growth. The project is expected to be concluded early in 2013.
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