Pretoria - The Department of Science and Technology is set
to spend most of its allocation of R23.7bn over the medium term to investment
in producing new knowledge, developing human capital, and building
infrastructure for research and innovation, according to the 2017 National
The bulk of the funds (R3.9bn) will be transferred to the
Council for Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR) and the National Research
Foundation (NRF), which foster, promote and support industrial and scientific
research and technology innovation.
Gordhan said in his speech that the The 2017 budget
allocates funds over the MTEF period to support economic growth in various
The CSIR places major focus on their Grassroots Innovation
Programme by the department’s Technology Localisation Implementation Unit
(TLIU) which seeks to unearth rural innovators who will then be incubated in to
programmes to develop their innovation into a business.
According to the TLIU’s Manager Ashley Bhugwandin,
Government has declared a clear commitment to the development of innovation in
the country through its capital investment.
"Various initiatives that include Grassroots Innovation
will serve to unearth the country’s bountiful raw talent that has for too long
been neglected,” he told Fin24.
"At TLIU it remains a key objective to localise our
technology and human capital, we believe that this is the only way to make
sustainable improvements in our land," he added.
"We commend the government for identifying this need
and making a concerted effort to address it," he said.
The Technology Innovation programme is allocated R3.4bn over
the medium term, or 14.2% of the department’s total budget, to invest in the
production of new knowledge.
“Of this amount, R1.3bn will be transferred to the
Technology Innovation Agency, which funds strategic technological innovation,
emerging technologies and knowledge innovation products, including
nanotechnology research, with the aim of commercialising them,” the National
The agency has allocated R719m of this transfer to
technology innovation funding for small and medium enterprises to help them
commercialise new technological products and services.
“The department also plans to transfer R150.4 million over
the medium term to the National Intellectual Property Management Office to
ensure that publicly funded intellectual property is protected and used to
create products, processes and services that improve the quality of life in
South Africa,” the National Budget went further to read.
The department also seeks to use bio-innovation to
contribute to the achievement of government’s industrial, health and social
development goals, as well as to the development of indigenous knowledge
Spending on bio-innovation in the Bioeconomy subprogramme is
projected to amount to R527m over the medium term.
This will allow the department to strengthen the research
and innovation competencies that form the strategic foundation for the
bio-based scientific innovation, and develop and support strategic research and
A further R27 million in 2017/18, R60 million in 2018/19 and
R63 million in 2019/20 is allocated to mining research and development for
technological solutions that improve safety, profitability and competitiveness.
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