Dr Gansen Pillay, Deputy-CEO of the National Research Foundation’s Research and Innovation, Support and Advancement (RISA) business unit, was appointed as the deputy chairperson of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Council in Austria in November 2017. IIASA is an independent, international scientific institute established in 1946 that conducts policy-oriented research into grand challenges or problems that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country. IIASA has 26 member countries representing 71% of the world’s economy and 63% of the world’s population. Since South Africa’s membership to IIASA during 2007, a range of research collaboration and capacity building activities have been developed by IIASA and more than twenty South African research partners. From the partnerships sprang both the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) in 2012, and SASAC in 2016. Dr Pillay has in-depth international experience, professional and scholarly credentials, and a long-standing engagement with IIASA. In addition, the innovation and insight he has brought to IIASA on a variety of transformation aspects will further contribute towards the effectiveness of this global organisation.
NRF’s Gansen Pillay appointment strengthens links to IIASA