M.F. Vaachia1, H. Nel1, R. Bakker2

1University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
2Adept Airmotive Pty (Ltd) (SOUTH AFRICA)
The Metal Casting Technology Station (MCTS) was launched in 2005 and is an initiative supported by the Department of Science and Technology through the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). The programme uses public funds to finance specific nich area infrastructure development at universities so as to establish centres of excellence which in turn supports joint university-industry projects. The objective is to encourage institutions to be geared towards nurturing and encouraging innovation in the foundry industry. The MCTS aims to increase the competitiveness and innovation of small and medium sized foundries by utilizing the centre of excellence and expertise in the Department of Metallurgy based at the University of Johannesburg to effect know-how to industry. In South Africa the Metal Casting Industry is also faced with a capacity crisis in terms of its skilled labour force. Many of its skilled labour are approaching retirement age within the next few years and to attract young engineers in the field of metallurgy is difficult. The MCTS facilitates the development and support of relevant programmes that are designed to attract and increase the skilled human capital in the fields of metal casting and foundry technology and to facilitate the development of relevant and accredited and non accredited short courses that address the HCD needs of the foundry industry.
In its attempt to become a centre of excellence the MCTS has prioritised its activities in the following focus areas:

• Sand Technology
• Physical Metallurgy
• Additive Manufacturing, Design and Simulation
• Education and Training
• Rural and Emerging Foundries

Thus, the objectives of this paper are twofold. The first objective is to describe the mechanism/s through which the MCTS at the University of Johannesburg which is a higher education institution facilitates, supports and promotes increased awareness of metal casting and foundry technology and technology innovation opportunities through developing and leveraging industry, strategic partnerships and University alliance.
The second is to demonstrate by way of a case study how intervention by the university can encourage the development of appropriate skills and technology for industry resulting in viable commercial product/s.