The overriding goal of the German-South African Science Year 2012/2013 is to expand the two countries' cooperation in research policy and pave the way for sustainable solutions to global challenges. In particular, the Science Year is aiming to encourage international collaborations among up-and-coming scientists. In line with the slogan "Enhancing science partnerships for innovation and sustainable development", it is focused on the thematic areas of climate change, human capital development, bioeconomics, urbanisation/megacities, astronomy, health innovation, and humanities and social sciences.
As well as the scientific community, the Science Year is aimed at political decision-makers and companies, students, educational establishments and any members of the public with an interest in scientific matters. To accompany an announcement to this effect, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and South Africa's Department of Science and Technology (DST) are fostering promising initiatives and campaigns. In the period to April 2013, many and varied events will be held in Germany and South Africa. Scientific and educational organisations, research institutions, and business enterprises in both countries are participating actively with their own events.