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The NIC is comprised of three Science Entities and three local University nodes. The three Science Councils namely, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Water Research Commission (WRC) and Mintek are leaders in the fields of health, water and minerals respectively.

The three local higher education institutions (HEI’s) nodes, namely; Rhodes University (RU), the University of Western Cape (UWC) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) which in turn collaborate with other HEIs, have been strategically identified and coordinated to focus on nano-based research in the fields of health (Sensors and Biolabels) and Water respectively, fulfilling not only research activities but also human capital development within the NIC.

Mintek as a development center of the NIC coordinates and adopts the research outputs of the HEIs and develops these into functional systems and prototypes.

Develops novel nanoparticles, nanomaterials and nanostructures. 

Develops high performance biomolecular-functionalised nanostructures, toward point-of-care diagnostic development and therapeutic application.

Develops sensors, electrochemical and or optical, for application in health and related areas.

Designs novel membrane formulations and absorbents toward water purification and remediation.