Department of Science and Innovation
The Report on the Review of the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Institutional Landscape has been drawn up.
The science and innovation department published the Report in Government Gazette 46506 for comment.
At the end of 2021, higher education, science and innovation minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, announced that the Ministerial Task Team Report on the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (HESTI) Institutional Landscape had been submitted.
He added that the “Report makes some radical recommendations on recreating and expanding the capacity of our STI capabilities including the idea of a new Research and Innovation Foundation”.
Speaking in 2020, the minister pointed out that the Review is “currently being conducted to determine the future direction and infrastructure requirements of the country’s post school education and STI landscape”.
The overriding finding of the Review Panel is that the HESTI institutional landscape is not adequately capacitated to support the achievement of objectives outlined in the National Development Plan.
“The Review Panel is of the view that unless urgent and decisive action is taken, there is a real danger that the gains that have been made since 1994 in developing the country’s NSI could slide into regression, leading to incalculable social and economic costs to the people of South Africa.”
In the conclusion, the Report points out that South Africa’s National System of Innovation (NSI) is at a crossroads.
“If the status quo is allowed to continue, the NSI will continue to underperform, and will remain plagued by incoherence and discordance.”
Several measures have been identified that could be implemented to pivot the HESTIIL towards increased collaboration, coherence and innovation.
The strategic levers of change include:
- A values base consistent with the NDP vision;
- Institutional governance that will ensure collaboration and coordination;
- A smart resourcing plan that will optimise and sustain the funding base for HESTI;
- The enhancement of the necessary capabilities for innovation and management; and
- A measured and progressive implementation of institutional changes and RDI societal grand challenges or missions to deliver system coherence and synergy.
Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.