Every year the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), in partnership with the Innovation Hub and strategic partners, hosts the Biotech Fundi awards. The aim of the awards is to incentivise, support, promote and develop individuals and companies who make a significant impact on the biotech sector in Gauteng. At the 2013 awards, two FABIans, Prof Dave Berger and Dr Eschar Misrachi, respectively won the Capacity Builder and Top Student awards.

The 2014 awards were held at a gala dinner at the Innovation Hub precinct, on Thursday night 21 Aug. Again the FABIans made us prowd! Steven Hussey (top photo),  member of the Forest Molecular Genetics (FMG) group in FABI, won the Biotech Fundi Student award for his PhD study completed not long ago. The judging criteria for this award were:

- Gauteng University registered Post Graduate Student

- Excellent academic performance, (80% or more average academic marks)

- Research that will lead to biotechnology knowledge, product or service (according to OECD definition)

- Cutting edge research addressing a national priority challenge

Steven was awarded a Biotech Fundi globe trophy, a certificate, a R5 000 cash prize, course attendance and training at DNAbiotec  to the value of R10 000, and a trip to attend the Agricultural Bioscience International Conference (ABIC2014) in Saskatoon, Canada, in October 2014.

Another FABIan, Drew Behrens (Bottom photo), won top student award among the 10 UP students who received GDARD bursaries in 2013. Drew is currently doing his BSc Honours degree in the FMG group. 

FABI also congratulates UP researcher Prof. Jan Verschoor, from the Department Biochemistry, who won the lifetime contribution award and a cash prize to the value of R40 000.