Related Projects

GCRF START is part of a network of projects helping to increase science capability in Africa, working on similar activities and towards the same goals, links to these Networks can be found below.

If your institute would like to join the GCRF START Network and be featured on this page, please contact GCRF_START@diamond.ac.uk for further information and quote ‘GCRF START – Related Projects’ in the request.

The most transformative mega-research entity is surely the modern light source. Research is both fundamental and applied. Both streams lead to innovation, competitive industry, the solution of problems of particular relevance for Africa, high end human capacity development, building the culture of learning, the inspiration of young learners to greater efforts and building a new generation of competent and enabled youth. There are other aspects, such as science diplomacy, pan Africanism, the globalisation and democratisation of participation in new knowledge generation, the implication that the large scale research infrastructure is fed by a healthy regional and national capacity in terms of human and equipment infrastructure. The passionate belief in this positive role for mega-science in society has driven the momentum towards the African Light Source. The call was first sounded in 2002, and it has been repeated by many sources on many platforms. African scientists are strongly participating in research exploiting the power of modern light sources, both from within African institutions, and from other institutions, as the exercise of the African science diaspora. In addition, the global science community has also strongly supported the global proliferation of the benefits of access to large-scale research infrastructures, and to extending the collaborative participation totally. This combination of African and International leadership towards an African Light Source is embodied in the project for a Light Source in Africa. The African Light Source Foundation is the mandated entity to drive the progress of African to wards an Advanced Light Source for the African Continent. It is strongly believed this will contribute to all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The African Synchrotron Network for Advanced Energy Materials (ASNAEM) project aims to build capacity in the synchrotron community amongst African scientists and to develop sustainable partnerships. ASNAEM supports the development of a diverse local skilled user community who are well informed and equip to utilise the first African synchrotron light source


c*change is a network of South African catalysis groups focussing on conversion of synthesis gas and CO2 as well as upgrading of paraffins and olefins for synthetic fuels and chemicals production. In collaboration with members of the START network aspects of CO2 activation are being studied with emphasis on the development and characterisation of catalyst materials. The research addresses issues of clean energy and the circular economy with carbon recycle.


“Situated on the health sciences campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) is a cross-Faculty, multi-disciplinary postgraduate research enterprise where world-class scientists work together to tackle diseases of major importance in Africa through cutting-edge laboratory, clinical and population health research. The IDM uses research as the vehicle to develop indigenous scientific capacity and strives to influence health policy and practice by translating scientific discoveries and applying them in the community.”

Valerie Mizrahi, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) Director.

With funding awarded in 2018 by the Newton Fund through the Royal Academy of Engineering, the African Neutron and Synchrotron Data Analysis Competency (ANSDAC) project was formed organizing free 10-day training workshops at UCT for emerging African researchers supported by both local and international experts in the field. Participants are selected based on their background, career stage, motivational letter and commitment to act as a seed in their own institutions. It is the declared goal of the project to build a community of users of international synchrotron and neutron facilities increasing the quality and impact of African research outputs. In 2019 START joined forces with ANSDAC to extend the project’s lifetime and impact as well as to provide an additional pool of lecturers.


H3D Drug Discovery and Development Centre was founded in 2010 as a University of Cape Town (UCT) accredited research centre. H3D is the first and only Centre of its kind on the African continent, a place where African scientists can utilize their scientific skills and education to improve the health of African patients and to educate the next generation of African pharmaceutical scientists.

In particular, H3D research is focussed on addressing SDG3 -universal access to effective medicines and training of competent healthcare professionals in developing areas. The Centre is a building block towards sustainable drug discovery in Africa, and as a leading member of the malaria and TB communities, is committed to reducing the burden of these diseases that disproportionately affect African patients. The Centre focusses on discovering new therapeutics for Malaria, TB and Antimicrobial resistance and has various technology platforms to support African drug discovery researchers, including a platform which investigates the drug metabolism disposition of African patients in order to optimize therapeutic dosage for these populations.


If your institute would like to join the GCRF START Network and be featured on this page, please contact GCRF_START@diamond.ac.uk for further information and quote ‘GCRF START – Related Projects’ in the request.