The Ten Year Innovation Plan (2008) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) was developed to help drive South Africa’s transformation towards a knowledge-based economy, in which the production and dissemination of knowledge leads to economic benefits and enriches all fields of human endeavour. It provided a national planning framework for investment in science, technology and innovation (STI) for the ten-year period starting from 2008.
With the current Innovation Plan expiring in 2018, the Minister of Science and Technology has requested the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) to develop a high-level framework as an input to a new STI Decadal Plan. In acting on this request, NACI has identified the critical contribution, which a participative Foresight exercise at a national level can make towards developing the high-level framework. I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 National Science, Technology and Innovation Foresight exercise.
The Foresight exercise is designed to involve a broad range of STI stakeholders. An STI stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in the outcome of the Foresight exercise and in the contents of the new Decadal Plan. Thus STI stakeholders include both those with a stake in harnessing STIs to address priority socio-economic challenges in South Africa, as well as STI practitioners themselves. All stakeholders will be invited to engage with the process via email and web-based mechanisms, to provide inputs on what should be the priority focus areas of the Foresight exercise. The exercise will also include a series of workshops to take place in Gauteng involving limited numbers of stakeholders from across the country.
Anyone wishing to be kept informed of the process, to have access to background and more detailed information, and/or who wishes to participate in the email and web-based processes should please register their interest using one of the following methods:
- Register at the website address: naci.org.za/STIForesight2018
- Send an email to STIForesight2018@dst.gov.za, and provide at least your contact email address. No contact details will be shared outside the NACI Secretariat and the Department of Science and Technology.
This initiative is expected to make an important contribution in the next decade to shape the innovation landscape in South Africa, with an impact on the social and economic well-being of all South Africans.