On 29 January 2016, the Department of Science and Technology and
the Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa signed a
memorandum of understanding in terms of which the South African
Marine Research and Exploration Forum (SAMREF) was established.
The launch of SAMREF is a part of
Operation Phakisa B3. Operation Phakisa is an intergovernmental
initiative designed to fast track the development of certain areas
identified by the Government as critical. The initiative focuses
inter alia on promoting the development of South
Africa's ocean economy, with oil and gas exploration as one of
its major objectives. Under Operation Phakisa, the Government
is undertaking various activities (such as the launch of SAMREF) to
accelerate and support the growth of South Africa's offshore
oil and gas sector.
SAMREF aims to exploit research opportunities in offshore oil
and gas exploration in South Africa by (i) enhancing joint research
projects and collaborative offshore studies between the public and
private sectors, and (ii) increasing research opportunities for
publicly funded research institutions.
SAMREF will facilitate the exchange of data and information
between the forum's members through its brokerage
service. Such exchange of information and data is done
on a voluntary basis. A database will be created in which
members are able to advertise research opportunities or make
requests for research needed in a particular sector. Members
of the forum are free to collaborate on the advertised
opportunities or respond to research requests.
The joint research projects will be governed by partnership
agreements, which the parties are responsible for settling between
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