for tomorrow



BASF South Africa’s continued relationship with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) has seen the German chemical company further sponsoring a computer laboratory for the NMMU InnoVenton Institute for Chemical Technology.

The relationship between InnoVenton and BASF began in 2007 with staff from the company’s laboratories attending various specialist training courses at the Institute. In 2010 BASF, along with partner companies in the chemical industry, namely PetroSA, Umicore Catalyst SA, and Heraeus South Africa, played an integral role in the development of an industry-specific programme which will ultimately see the chemical process industry’s skills being further uplifted.
A skills gap in the chemical-related qualifications on offer was identified so, together with the NMMU’s InnoVenton team, this group of industry leaders developed a 3-year National Diploma in Chemical Process Technology (CPT) which is now on offer at the NMMU.
This diploma programme sees skilled process operators and controller technicians being equipped to not only control a process plant but also to support chemical and process engineers in various design and problem solving projects. The development stage of this qualification took three years to plan and gain all the necessary approvals through the higher education qualification structures.
Since the establishment of the CPT in 2013, BASF has sponsored a number of bursaries for students studying towards the diploma. The industry support extends further to on-site visits for the students in order for them to gain a hands-on understanding of the practical application of their studies.
BASF’s donation towards the establishment of a computer laboratory for InnoVenton’s CPT programme will enable the students to complete modules on quality assurance statistics, applied mathematics and process simulation.
At the cheque handover ceremony, BASF’s Port Elizabeth Site Director, Paul Allday, said that developing future engineers and scientists is crucial for the success of the chemical industry: “At BASF we are firmly committed to supporting the upliftment of science, mathematics and engineering programmes that will ultimately support the sustainability of our industry.
“We are proud to have been involved with InnoVenton over the years,” he said. “The development of the CPT programme is a first in the country and will, down the line, be producing a pool of potential staff who have the skills we need. Our donation towards this computer laboratory will ensure that the students have the necessary skills to be equipped for the workplace,” he said.
On receipt of the donation, Dr Shawn Gouws, InnoVenton’s CPT Programme Co-ordinator said:  “The partnership between InnoVenton and BASF over the past years has been an exciting journey, from training the company’s staff through to us jointly creating this Diploma in CPT,” he said. “It is crucial that academic institutions have the flexibility to support industry needs and can
continuously adapt and evolve in order to meet market demands. The support of industry is also critical for the ongoing success of programmes such as these.”

At the R150 000 cheque handover from left Linda Brown - Site & Media Relations Specialist, BASF Holdings South Africa, Renita Affat, acting CEO NMMU Trust,  Paul Allday - Site Director, BASF South Africa, Mobile Emissions Catalysts site, Dr Shawn Gouws, InnoVenton’s CPT Programme Co-ordinator and Charles Johnson - Human Resources Specialist, BASF Holdings South Africa.