PRESS RELEASE THRIP ANNUAL REPORT HAND-OVER Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) a Business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF) which is funded by THRIP press release Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin attended the Technology and Human Resource for Industry Programme (THRIP) Excellence Awards and Annual Report Hand-over Function in Johannesburg on 19 August 2003. Also present was the Deputy Minister, Mrs Lindiwe Hendricks, and the Director General, Mr Alistair Ruiters. The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry handed over the overall winner of the THRIP Excellence Award 2003 to Professor Luyckx of the University of the Witwatersrand. Professor Luyckx's (Manufacture and Assessment of Hard Metals) was recognised for her project, which aims to develop, manufacture, test and characterise hard metals to be used in South African industry. Other winners are: Most Innovative Project, Professor AA Groenwold from the University of Pretoria (A Prototype for Tailless Flight) Project with the Greatest Export Potential, Dr LJ von Mollendorf of the Agricultural Research Council in Stellenbosch (Climate & Pomological Aspects in Stone Fruit Breed); Project with the Greatest Potential to Create SMME*s, Dr DJ de Beer from the Free State Technikon (Rapid Product Development); Best THRIP Project undertaken at a Historically Disadvantaged Institution, Professor VM Linkov of the University of the Western Cape (Prof Linkov - Fuel Cells, Fuels and Chemicals) and the Best Exhibition (Rapid Product Development); Dr DG de Beer of Technikon Free State. Expanding on the questions of skills in science and technology at the THRIP Function, Mr Erwin said the change in the economy has triggered Cabinet to speed up the process of creating more technology skills by improve training at tertiary institutions and ensuring a proper coordination of the work done by the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). Dr. Khotso Mokhele President of the National Research Foundation (NRF) said that the impact THRIP has on the South African economy has the potential to change the look of the future. He said THRIP could assist in achieving the governments’ vision of realizing a restructured and adaptive economy characterized by growth, employment and equity by 2014. “South Africa's ability to manipulate and use technology has become a great strength which is excellent for a knowledge-based economy like ours' said the Minister.