About us

C4IR South Africa

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution South Africa (C4IR South Africa) was announced in April 2019 by the Minister of Science and Innovation with the aim of driving the adoption and responsible deployment of emerging technologies in South Africa.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents significant opportunities for South Africa. South Africa has the potential to become a leader in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, advanced materials, smart manufacturing and advanced energies. 4IR technologies also have the potential to improve various production and social sectors in South Africa, such by increasing efficiency and accessibility.
However exponential and disruptive nature of 4IR technologies demand upstream and long-term decision making to ensure they are governed in a way that maximises societal benefit whilst minimising potential misuse or harm. Through its work, the centre aims to facilitate the development of responsible policies and practices that will help South Africa to realise the full potential of the 4IR. It therefore serves as a:


Space for Global Cooperation in Science and Technology: It draws on capabilities, insights and best practices in the C4IR Network to inform its projects to build national capacity in technology governance.


“Do-tank”: Partner governments and companies will co-design and pilot these protocols and frameworks for rapid iteration and scale. The Centre is not a think-tank, but rather a “do-tank”.


Champion for ethics and values in technology: All developed at the Centre will prioritise human-centricity, fair governance and inclusive innovation.


To be the indispensable hub for public-private cooperation for shaping ways of harnessing technology for societal progress.


To co-design, test and refine governance protocols and policy frameworks to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of advanced science and technology.


Human Centricity
Maximising the impact of new technology to improve the quality of life for individuals across the world, and influencing industries to preserve our world for future generations.
Enabling Innovation
Helping the private and public sectors to identify technology related issues and enablers and advancing policy, governance and business models that are agile, flexible and impactful.
Equity and Inclusion
Taking proactive steps to ensure technology adoption does not heighten wealth disparities, abuse of power, and exclusion by establishing an equitable enabling environment thus amplifying innovation to ensure technology is available to all.

Focus Areas

To accelerate impact and drive change, the C4IR South Africa brings together government entities, business organisations, civil society and academia, and leverages expertise in the C4IR global networks from around the world to work together, initially across four interrelated technology areas in multiple sectors, namely:

Current Partners

Founding Partners

An initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation, managed and hosted by the CSIR and affiliated to the World Economic Forum.

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