With the support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), TİKA Jazari-Lab has been inaugurated in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, within the University of the Witwatersrand, one of the world’s leading universities. Within the University of the Witwatersrand, one of the most prestigious universities not only in Africa but also in the world in many fields, especially mining, a laboratory has been established where researchers and students can transform their ideas into real products using various digital production technologies in the centennial of the university. The laboratory has been named after the great scholar Ismail al-Jazari (1136-1206), who is considered the “father of robotics”.
Laser cutting machine, desktop router (mini CNC), desktop lathe, desktop drill press, 3D scanner, a 3D printer with FDM technology, a 3D printer with DLP-LCD technology, computers as well as various electronic and mechanical tools have been provided by TİKA for the laboratory. The necessary hardware and equipment for the “FAB-LAB” infrastructure, which has more than one thousand workshops in the world and is becoming more and more common also in our country, have been provided to the University with the project. Furthermore, 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, and robotic coding usage and application training have been given to ten technicians and students by TİKA.
Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to Pretoria Ayşegül Kandaş, TİKA Pretoria Coordinator Abdulkadir Abukan, President of the University of the Witwatersrand Prof. Zeblon Vilakazi, Dean of Engineering Faculty Thokozani Majozi and related academicians have attended the opening ceremony of the laboratory.
In his speech, Majozi stated that they are aware of the success level of similar laboratories previously established by TİKA in other countries and that this laboratory will also inspire important projects for many years in reliable hands. And Vilakazi stated that the laboratory will make a significant contribution to the innovation capacity of the faculty and will pave the way for cooperation between the university and Turkish academic institutions. And Ambassador Ayşegül Kandaş presented statistics on universities and R&D in Türkiye, gave information about activities such as TEKNOFEST, and expressed her desire to further cooperation between the universities of South Africa and Türkiye.
Following the speeches, the participants visited the laboratory and examined the materials manufactured during the training process, particularly the replication of the oldest known humanoid skull near Johannesburg. After the examination, ten technicians and students who participated in the training program have been given certificates by Ambassador Kandaş.
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