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11. November 2015

Signing of the MoU between the NRF and Max Planck Society, 11.11.2015 at SAE

Berlin, 11 November 2015. South Africa´s Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Pandor, came to the South African Embassy in Berlin in the morning to witness the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Max Planck Society in light of the telescope project MeerKAT in South Africa. The President of the Max Planck Society, Professor Stratmann, had promised an investment for the radio astronomy project worth 11 Million Euros. This encloses scientists and engineers as well as receiver systems that are developed in Bonn and will be part of the MeerKAT telescope.

The MeerKAT is a precursor to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope, a project that is an international enterprise to build the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. Eight African countries are contributing to the project with South Africa as the main location since it has a great advantage geographically for astronomy.

In her speech Minister Pandor acknowledged the very good relationship between South Africa and Germany especially in the field of Science and Technology but that she is hoping to make Professor Stratmann an Ambassador to promote the MeerKAT and (SKA) in Germany´s political circles. Minister Pandor had spoken to her counterpart Minister for Education and Research Professor Dr. Johanna Wanka a day before and is hoping that Germany will recognise the SKA project not only as a South African but an African and international project that is worth investing into.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Fanaroff, Director of the SKA project South Africa, and Professor Stratmann.

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