Google grant fuels innovation and research at UP

Posted on November 21, 2023 Tech industry leader Google has awarded the University of Pretoria (UP) the Google General Research Support Grant, which will support the University’s academic landscape and empower its researchers in key fields such as climate and sustainability, machine learning, machine perception, natural language processing and responsible artificial intelligence. The awarding of this grant demonstrates a shared commitment to fostering cutting-edge research and innovation at the intersection of academia and technology. “As the Grant Management Unit [GMU] under the Department of Research and Innovation [DRI] at UP, we are profoundly grateful to Google,” says Ninette Kotzee, research grants manager at UP. “Its generous research grant has empowered our cohort of researchers to embark on an exciting journey of discovery and innovation under the funded themes.” DRI, which acts as a centralised grant administrator, facilitated a competitive process to ensure broad accessibility to the grant, emphasising scientific merit and feasibility. All UP personnel and postdoctoral fellows were eligible to apply for these once-off grants of R50 000 each. Funding under this programme covers research-related expenses such as sabbaticals, materials and supplies, conference attendance, hosting workshops, fieldwork, and engaging international expertise and research equipment. Eleven researchers will be supported through this grant. Some of the research includes a project by Dr Adebunmi Aina of the Faculty of Education; the project focuses on using technology to enhance pedagogy and management functions at early childhood development centres in Pretoria. In the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Professor David Berger’s research involves creating a centralised database for Greyia tree species and the development of a geographic information system-enabled custom research database at Innovation Africa@UP, with training for postgraduate students and staff. The other recipients of the grant are Seani Rananga, Rouxjeanne Vermeulen, Ilana van Wyk, Anri van Wyk, Dr Anna Bosman, Magdeleen Loubser, Arrie Klopper, Ione Loots and Prof Francoise Monkam. “We take immense pride in fostering an environment where novel ideas are celebrated,” Kotzee says. “We anticipate with great excitement the contributions that our researchers will make to technology and sustainability.” Copyright © University of Pretoria 2023. All rights reserved. COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]