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Solving global challenges and crises


Wits has a number of research entities that are exploring new ideas across a range of disciplines that aim to address critical global challenges. Some of the solutions lie at the intersection of sustainable development and digital innovation. Our ambition is to find solutions that will ensure that Africa rises to the challenges of the 21st Century.

Centenary projects:

1. Developing future mines and minerals to power the low carbon economy

The Wits Future Mines and Minerals Centre will drive the development of new mining technologies and appropriate public policy that facilitates the extraction of the minerals that will drive future low carbon economies.

2. Building sustainable Cities in Africa

Using Braamfontein as a living laboratory, the Wits Future Cities Institute is ideally positioned to conduct critical trans- disciplinary research on future urbanism within a rapidly changing environment. It will explore the appropriate contextual applications of concepts such as ‘urban rewilding’, ‘critical architecture’ and ‘smart city technologies.’

3. Finding innovative solutions for our waste

The Wits Future Waste Engineering Centre conducts transdisciplinary studies on waste management practices. Focus areas include innovative recycling processes, alternative materials to polymers, future of mining waste, river pollution, waste to energy, and the business of waste management.

4. Placing Wits at the forefront of the zero-emission Hydrogen economy

Utilising our broad multidisciplinary expertise spread across engineering, science, economics, business and law, the Chair in Green Hydrogen will grapple with the deployment of green hydrogen as a new zero emission energy carrier.

5. Managing the transition to a low carbon future

A low carbon future will not be created in a single event or by a single technology solution, but through a process that requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders to ensure that the transition to this future is just and equitable. People-centred technology solutions will deliver this future and the Chair in Energy Transition aims to shape this journey through dialogues and world-class research.

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