TUT to showcase hydrogen bicycle

Hydrogen bike, right view
Pretoria – Excitement is mounting for a group of innovative students from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) who will get to showcase their hydrogen powered bicycle, known as Hai Fambeni, at a conference in the North West.
The bicycle, translated as “Let’s go,” will be unveiled by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on Thursday at the 2nd annual Resource Driven Technology Concept Centre (RETECZA) Conference.
Hai Fambeni was developed by the TUT students, in partnership with the department of Science and Technology, as well as Hydrogen South Africa. World renowned designer, Pierre Terblanche, played mentor to the group, and was sponsored by the department to work at the educational facility for a month, in the context of the RETECZA project.
RETECZA is a non-profit-organisation with the vision to be a leading technology concept centre on clean energy, transport and water. The main aim of RETECZA is technology concept development for poverty alleviation and involves partners globally.
This year’s conference will comprise presentations and panel discussions from researchers and senior executives focusing on topics such as clean water, transportation and energy.

Renowned local and international researchers will deliver papers on latest technology that will improve especially the life of people living in rural communities. Researchers from both Sweden and Germany will also attend the conference. – BuaNews

RETECZA is the academia-industry-public initiative first conceptualized by Professor Mulalo Doyoyo of the Georgia Institute of Technology in collaboration with the Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Science and Technology, the Next Generation Vehicles consortium of the world’s leading automakers, and a group of South African companies. The venture was created to address the problems of poverty and diminished livelihood in South Africa via a vibrant culture of cutting-edge research, innovation, and technology concept development leading to commercialization within a paradigm of Research, Demonstration, and Implementation. The South African Department of Labor with its 2007 National Master Scarce Skills List highlights technology educators, engineers, and artisans as critical professionals for the country’s economic growth. Unfortunately, this workforce is scarce. While RETECZA focuses on demonstrative technology concepts, it also presents a great opportunity for South Africa to satisfy human resource needs, provide education opportunities, and advance programs of community engagement that will become a driving force for the country’s equitable livelihood by nurturing human skills and research capacities via tertiary institutions and industrial artners.

Phase-0 of the initiative focuses on two strategic concepts, namely; (1) the development
of a novel next generation car for South Africa that is not only fuel-efficient, results in low carbon footprint, and adaptable, but also robust for developing country roads and (2) the development of an integrated autonomous village that is constructed with sustainable next generation materials, saves power by utilizing novel renewable energy technologies, saves water by retaining rainwater through underground dams and artificial water tables, treats wastes using innovative living machines, and the like. These concepts will initiate activities congruent with the following NSI key priorities: 
  • Improvement of competitiveness,
  • Improving the quality of life,
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability,
  • Work on human resource development, and
  • Ensure community development through technology transfer instruments.
The Department of Science and Technology has offered an amount of R3,5million every year as funding for the implementation of Phase-0 of the RETECZA initiative focusing largely on the Human Capital Development aspect including: 
  • Global Innovation Chair to drive the RETECZA venture
  • Overseas Doctoral Fellowship for South African Students
  • Research Visits by Overseas Doctoral Fellows
  • In-country Doctoral Fellowships
  • In-country Masters Bursaries
  • In-country B.Tech Bursaries
  • In-country Short Training Programmes
The RETECZA vision plans to accommodate a wide-range of consortium members at any
level of reasonable identification and merit-based partnering. Consortium members will appreciate RETECZA’s unique commercialization model with its ability to produce world-class inventions in a short time, create an interactive environment involving international
opportunities, and cultivate a public and technical life-changing innovation portal among active partners. RETECZA’s four-fold plan include: 1) Next Generation Vehicles, 2) Next
Generation Energy Supply, 3) Green Building and Construction, and 4) Technology
Concept Centre that extends to other areas requiring transformative technologies.

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