SAAO - South African Astronomical Observatory

SALT Industrial Empowerment

The specific objective of this portion of the plan is to maximise the industrial payoffs from development of components, subsystems, equipment, and labour for construction and operation of SALT.
Specific elements include:

  • Industrial Briefings and Conferences: Meetings and conferences shall be conducted to make South African industry aware of the technical content of SALT and provide clear opportunities for bidding.
  • Corporate Teaming Discussions: Industrial teams shall be formed by candidate bidders to lead discussions between companies. Management plans shall be developed in concert with these companies to support these team efforts.
  • A procurement policy with emphasis on empowerment and capacity building of people, firms and companies from previously disadvantaged communities.
  • Collaborations between South Africa and other countries: Companies which produced the previous systems for HET will be encouraged to collaborate with South African companies in the design and construction of SALT subsystems.
  • Industrial Personnel Exchange: When companies from other countries are part of a winning team for a SALT subsystem, contracts will specify that South African engineers and/or other technical personnel will spend time at the contractor's facility to collaborate in design and manufacturing efforts. Careful selection of personnel will maximise the benefit.

Payoffs: The result from these activities will be industrial collaborations joining South African companies in new ways to increase technical capabilities. Teams may also span international boundaries. This will accomplish transfer of critical, modern technologies including optics, electronics, micro-positioning, dynamic control systems, precision sensing, and others. A second benefit will be the business collaboration of these companies that will extend South African technical capabilities and enable them to compete for other business within and outside of SA.