The Role of the South African Government in Developing the Biotechnology Industry – from Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres to the Technology Innovation Agency

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP19/2012
 
Publication date: 2012
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

Biotechnology has been identified as one of the key sectors for future economic growth in many countries, with South Africa being no exception. Consequently, the South African government introduced the National Biotechnology Strategy (NBS) in 2001 whilst trying to modernize the government’s biotech institutions and methods to develop the biotechnology industry given a changing political and technical environment. An important product of the NBS was the establishment of Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres (BRICs) in 2002, which aimed to develop and commercialise the biotechnology industry. This was followed by the establishment of the Technology Innovation Agency (the TIA) in 2008. The latter institute’s aims are to develop South Africa’s ability in transferring a larger percentage of local research and development (R&D) into commercial products and services. This paper will explore and highlight recent changes in the role of the South African government in its attempts to support and develop the biotechnology industry firstly via BRICs and thereafter the TIA.

 
JEL Classification:

L6, L65

Keywords:

Biotechnology, Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres (BRICs), TIA, South Africa

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1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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BER Weekly

1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

Read the full issue