The National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) has become a regular feature of South Africa’s science and technology landscape.
The Survey is conducted annually by the Human Sciences Research Council’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
This site and the attached, downloadable documents, cover the methodology employed and the results for the five sectors covered in the two Surveys. The 2001/02 Survey constituted the first official survey since that of 1997/98.
Following the Frascati Manual, the survey covered business enterprises, government, higher education institutions, not-for-profit institutions and science councils.
Frascati Surveys have been carried out internationally for more than 40 years, but common understanding to what properly constitutes R&D remains somewhat problematic.
The Frascati Manual definition of R&D is as follows: "Research and Experimental Development (R&D) is creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock knowledge to devise new applications."
As much care as possible is taken to develop a common understanding with the respondents of what properly constitutes R&D.
The Frascati Manual is extensive and complex, and considerable effort was invested in developing a User Guide, and supporting the sector participants in completing the questionnaires as fully and accurately as possible The Frascati Manual, however, provides a set of guidelines, not prescriptions.
It is noted that the survey time series was both interrupted (no data in 1999/2000) and subject to methodological variation, since it was executed by different agencies between 1991 and 2001.
This Survey confronted the dual role of conducting the Survey in parallel with capacity building.
The work of the Surveys entails the development of appropriate sector sampling methodologies (covered in the Survey Management and Results System database). The sampling methodology and measurement design were reviewed and approved by the DST Reference Committee.
Breaking down of R&D performers into five sectors represents a deliberate choice. In many OECD countries it is common practice to combine some of the five sectors. It was decided to avoid confusion by surveying the sectors separately as has been previous practice in South Africa
More information on the various sampling frames for the five sectors and survey instruments can be obtained by downloading the 2001/02 Report.
Disclaimer: Survey data may be freely used, subject to the acknowledgment of its source. Any interpretation or further analysis is the responsibility of the third party.
The National Research and Technology Foresight Project
The National Research and Technology Foresight project was one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Department of Science and Technology's predecessor, the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, as part of its mission to review and reform South Africa's science and technology system. Interest in foresighting in South Africa has received special emphasis in the July 1993 Mission Report on science and technology policy sponsored by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. The intention to carry out such an exercise was announced by the Ministry of Arts, Culture Science and Technology in mid 1994, shortly after the establishment of the new Ministry.
The aim of the Foresight project was to help identify those sector specific technologies and technology trends that will best improve the quality of life of all South Africans over the next 10-20 years. The project encompassed technologies that impact on social issues and wealth creation through product or process development. In particular it seeked to:
Equally as important as these outcomes, was the foresight process itself, which brought together government departments, industry, science councils, higher education, organised labour, professional organisations and other stakeholders, who previously related to each other in a highly fragmented way.
The following sector specific reports were generated during the foresight exercise:
INNOVATION FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMME GETS UNDERWAY
The Department of Science Technology (DST) is supporting a number of exciting projects that intend to use science and technology to reduce poverty through job creation, the development of small and medium enterprises, economic growth and improved quality of life.
For this reason, the Department’s Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme, which the Department launched on 17 September 2010, is supporting the following projects with nearly €30 million in untargeted budget support from the European Union over four years:
Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme
The Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the European Union’s (EU) Sector Budget Support Programme (SBS). (http://www.info.gov.za/speech/DynamicAction?pageid=461&;sid=13271&tid=20046). The SBS supports the use of science and technology (S&T) and innovation to develop small and medium enterprises in rural areas to contribute to improved quality of life. The focus of the Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is on:
The European Commission
The European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/about/index_en.htm) is the European Union's (http://europa.eu/index_en.htm) executive body. It proposes and enforces legislation and represents and upholds the interests of Europe as a whole.
Sector Budget Support
The European Commission defines budget support as the transfer of financial resources of an external financing agency to the national treasury of a partner country. These financial resources form part of the partner country’s global resources, and are consequently used in accordance with its public financial management system. Sector budget support takes the form of a transfer to the national treasury in support of a sector programme. This kind of support seeks to accelerate progress towards the partner country’s sectoral goals. http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/delivering-aid/budget-support/index_en.htm
The sector approach assists collaboration between government, development partners and essential stakeholders mainly with the aim of improving both government and national ownership of public sector policy and decisions about the allocation of resources. This means coherence between policy, spending and results. It also reduces transaction costs.
The first project to benefit from the SBS-funded Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is the Community Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) project. This large-scale technology demonstrator project has progressed significantly since its inception. By the start of 2011, R40 million had been allocated to the WMN project.
Other SBS beneficiaries include agro-processing projects to the value of R38 million. Select appropriately from the list below for more information concerning a particular project.