SAASTA was formerly known as the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology (FEST). The organisation changed it's name after being incorporated into the National Research Foundation (NRF) in December 2002.
The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) is an agency of the National Research Foundation (NRF).
SAASTA is the official NRF vehicle for facilitating the promotion of
science and technology in our society.
The NRF is the key public entity responsible for supporting human resource capacity for research,
technology and innovation development in the fields of science and technology.
The mandate of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA)
is to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering and
technology in South Africa.
Scope of activities
- Building the quantity and quality of mathematics and science outputs at school level
(developing SET human capital)
- Raising the general interest in, engagement and appreciation of the public (and
especially poorer communities) for the benefit of science (strengthening the SET culture)
- Communicating science to the South African citizenry (bringing science and scientists
closer to civil society).
SAASTA derives its core funding via the NRF from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The NRF itself is a science council and as such is a non-profit entity.