August 12, 2016
BITRI hosted a media brief and a tour of Seding® Solar Light facilities on 11th August. BITRI Chief Executive Officer Professor Nelson Torto in his official remarks, gave an overview of BITRI projects and progress as well as a background on the Seding® Solar Light project.
Prof Torto began with an overview of BITRI human capital plans and infrastructure development including the Centre for Material Science and the laboratories established for the purpose of researching on coal.
Some of the key research outputs that CEO touched on include the development of a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) diagnostic kit in collaboration with Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) and the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA), the development of an energy monitoring device, the development of material to be used for both water and air filters, the Morabaraba mobile application and the KSBB Technology.
The CEO highlighted some of the key partnerships and collaboration initiatives including those with Pyro Carbon Energy in the area of coal beneficiation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa in the area of TV white space, MINTEK on extraction metallurgy, Water Utilities Cooperation on water filters, UNDP on areas of climate change and energy as well as with BCL on the area of copper beneficiation.
“At BITRI we think off-grid. We favour green practises and also the use of renewables, hence the effort that we have put towards advancing the take-up of solar street lighting in Botswana. The production line we have established we use it to assemble various components of the light that come from different suppliers. BITRI has since designed its own light with new characteristics and thus the production line will be used for that. We anticipate that there will be more designs that are appropriate for various applications that will be produced from the facility based on this campus. We have installed the solar street lights in several villages. We also anticipate that our collaborations with various councils will be intensified since the facility is ready for production. We also plan to transform our campuses,” Prof Torto elaborated.
The Assembly Plant Supervisor, Ms Nobuhle King led the Assembly Plant tour, and at each station, Assembly Line Operators explaining to the audience the steps they oversee in the production of the light. The media captured the process and got an opportunity to understand the work that goes into producing the light.
During the Question and Answers session, the media got to learn about the output values for the plant, the advantages of the Seding® over competitor products, the employment opportunities created by the projects and the envisaged application enhancements.
In his closing remarks, the Executive Director Technologies Prof Shedden Masupe thanked the media for attending the brief and the facilities tour and acknowledged the media’s roles in conveying BITRI’s communication messages to the publics, the most important being the customers.