Chemical technology incubator launched in Durban
22 April 2014
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies officially launched the R8-million Durban
branch of the South African Chemical Technology Incubator (Chemin) at the Westville
Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban last week.
The incubation centre offers free support services to small chemical technology
businesses in the province, as well as access to a state-of-the-art laboratory
containing specialised analytical equipment. Current incubated enterprises focus on
chemical detergent, cosmetics and health care products.
The centre includes a manufacturing pilot plant for recycling compact fluorescent light
(CFL) bulbs using a patented technology.
According to the DTI, Chemin's focus is on developing the downstream chemicals
manufacturing industry in South Africa. This includes the manufacture of relatively
high-value pure chemicals for use as active ingredients in specialised chemicals for
non-consumer applications (such as paints, mining chemicals, textile
specialities, and paper chemicals).
Chemin's Durban branch was established in partnership with the Small Enterprise
Development Agency (Seda) under the DTI's Incubation Support Programme, which
has seen the establishment of 42 incubators in various sectors across the country.
Davies, speaking at last week's launch said a further four incubators had been
approved and would be set up during the 2014/15 financial year.
Seda acting CEO Sipho Zikode commented: "We are on course to see these incubators
increasing as more small enterprises go the technology incubation route .... This can
only bode well for our government's drive to create employment."