Department of Science and Innovation
The science and innovation department aims to finalise the Decadal Plan in 2021/2022.
The department announced this during a briefing in parliament on its 2021/22 Annual Performance Plan.
The Decadal Plan will serve as an implementation plan for the White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation for the next ten years.
Cabinet approved the Decadal Plan in March 2021 for implementation.
In a statement, cabinet pointed out that the Decadal Plan will serve as a government master plan incorporating other departments such as the departments of agriculture, land reform and rural development; mineral resources and energy; health and trade, industry and competition.
Cabinet approved the White Paper in 2019.
Objectives of the White Paper include:
• Adopt a whole-of-government/society approach to innovation.
• Instil a culture of valuing STI, and integrate STI into government planning and budgeting at the highest levels.
• Create an enabling and inclusive governance environment.
• Create a more innovation-enabling environment.
• Increase and transform NSI human capabilities.
• Expand and transform the research system.
• Expand and transform the institutional landscape.
• Increase funding and funding efficiencies.
The department also plans to define critical missions that will be attended to between 2021-2031.
Speaking last year during the department’s Budget Vote 2020/21 in parliament, the higher education, science and innovation minister, Blade Nzimande, declared that the overarching goal of the Decadal Plan is to increase the contribution of the National System of Innovation (NSI) to the achievement of South Africa’s national objectives.
“This will be done by enhancing innovation and experimentation, and by accelerating the use of tried and tested approaches to successfully introduce innovation for transformative social and economic change,” he said.
According to the minister, the 2019 White Paper on STI is the “principal policy guiding the NSI and commits the country to furthering the role of STI in economic and social development, emphasising the core themes of inclusivity, transformation and partnerships”.
The department also updated parliament on its contribution to the national Covid-19 response and the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
Feedback focused on analytics and modelling, research and innovation, manufacturing and international cooperation initiatives in support of the global response to the pandemic.