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Report on Higher Education, STI Institutional Landscape Drawn Up

November 4, 2021

Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

The Ministerial Task Team Report on the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Institutional Landscape has been submitted.

The higher education, science and innovation minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, confirmed this in a speech at the National Research Foundation annual awards in Pretoria.

Speaking last year, the minister pointed out that the Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Institutional Landscape review is “currently being conducted to determine the future direction and infrastructure requirements of the country’s post school education and STI landscape”.

In the latest speech, the minister declared 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”.

The minister indicated that the Report will be released for comment soon.

He also highlighted that the ministry plans to increase investment into research and development from the current 0,81% of GDP to the target of 1,5% as contained in the National Development Plan.

Key interventions flowing from the national system of innovation include data modelling, through the CSIR-CMORE situational awareness platform for COVID-19; the SA Population Research Infrastructure Network random sample of household’s research to document the knowledge, behaviour and outcomes of households in relation to non-pharmaceutical COVID- 19 measures; the Human Sciences Research Council surveys to measure the public response to COVID-19 and the effects of lockdown; the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory National Ventilator Project and the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell systems in hospitals and medical facilities.

The minister also declared that cabinet has approved the science and innovation department strategy to “drive a multipronged national vaccine production and development strategy to secure our nation’s long-term pandemic preparedness”.

Work is underway with Biovac to increase the scope of public participation and leverage capital investment by domestic private and international vaccine players to build South Africa’s vaccine production.