Raymond SIEBRITS (South Africa)

Raymond’s work focuses on water research, sustainability, and enterprise development.

MSc in Environmental and Geographical Science

Current position: Manager at Klein River Cheese, South Africa

Research focus: food sustainability, water, climate technology, renewable energy, agriculture and business development

His Master’s thesis attracted the interest of South Africa’s Water Research Commission, which then funded a team to further develop his work. He went on to gain valuable business development and enterprise building skills while working for a number of start-ups.

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2012):

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Research focus: water research sustainability

A leader in water research sustainability, Raymond Siebrits is helping define the priorities and strategies for future research in South Africa.

Most Green Talents winners are involved in the research of sustainability. Raymond Siebrits is interested in the sustainability of research. He grapples with questions such as: how can we facilitate research that is appropriate, relevant, efficient, objective and free from negative influence? How can we make sure that research truly serves the needs of society? How can we promote strategic research with impact and enable this sustainably in a complex world?

Siebrits Masters thesis, entitled ‘An analysis of water research in South Africa: knowledge and adaptive capacity’, recently attracted the interest of the South Africas Water Research Commission, which is now funding a team of researchers to further develop Siebrits work. This project, led by Siebrits, is focused on the scientometrics and horizon scanning of water research in South Africa with the goal of promoting research that is more inter-disciplinary, collaborative, relevant and efficient.

“We want to enable sustainable research and growth in the water research environment to promote greater innovation, better problem-solving and improved policy,” says Siebrits. “I feel this lies at the very core of sustainable development.”

The jury highlighted the importance of sustainability research and Siebrits particular focus on water research sustainability. It was also impressed by his engagement in the International Water Associations ‘Young Water Professionals’ initiative in South Africa and his role as chair of the groups Western Cape branch.