The Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) is a specialist research centre within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) that is dedicated to producing policy relevant research and statistical analysis in the domain of science, technology and innovation. CeSTII has a vision to be a thought and practice leader, as well as, an acknowledged site of excellence in its field and aims to consolidate its position as a value-adding component of South Africa’s national system of innovation (NSI).
CeSTII has a vision to be a thought and practice leader, as well as, an acknowledged site of excellence for producing policy relevant research and statistical analysis in the domain of science, technology and innovation (STI).
In order for CeSTII to achieve this vision, it will embark on a strategy centred around the following pillars: policy relevance; excellence in statistical methods and practices; capacity building and partnerships in South Africa, the SADC region, the African Union, BRICS and other countries and regions.
Scope of work
The scope of CeSTII is concentrated on building capacity and expertise in science and technology (S&T) indicators by constructing a solid national baseline and data series through the national Research and Experimental Development (R&D) expenditure surveys, the South African Survey of Technology Transfer at Publically Funded Research Institutions baseline survey and the South African Business Innovation surveys.
The National Research and Development Survey
This is an annual survey of national research and experimental development inputs, conducted on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology. Find out more.
The South African Innovation Survey
This survey is part of DST's effort to establish a baseline set of S&T indicators for monitoring, reporting on, and fine tuning the National System of Innovation. Find out more.
From the two surveys, a wide range of internationally comparable data and indicator series can be constructed that comprises official science and technology statistics for the National Statistical System. These official data and indicators are also submitted to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for publication in the biannual Main Science and Technology Indicators and the biennial Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard. Data are also submitted annually to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook.
The work of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators in the areas of R&D and innovation surveys is recognised at the highest level of the government and was given substance through the memorandum of understanding between DST and Statistics South Africa regarding the provision of official science and technology statistics within the National Statistical System. Accordingly, the R&D Surveys are now part of Official Statistics as defined by the Statistics Act No.6 of 1999.
The team comprises 19 staff members and represents a sound mix of group, gender, skill and disciplinary focus.
The key users of CeSTII’s work are various government departments and agencies, especially the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Education, the National Treasury, the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), and the Presidential National Commission on Information Society and Development.
Over the past two years a steady stream of CeSTII’s projects has reached maturity and the list of publications has grown apace. Of particular significance is the way in which the research outputs that have been produced are increasingly finding their way into the deliberations of policy-makers.
By 2015 the centre had successfully completed eleven national R&D surveys and was in the process of producing the reports for the latest in the series, 2013/14. Two microdata analysis reports based on data extracted from the South African Business Innovation Survey (BIS) 2010–2012 database are currently being finalised. Further analytical research products will be produced from the data.
CeSTII has recently undertaken to do a national survey on technology transfer and IP commercialisation, and is the process of completing this project which will provide baseline data on technology transfer from 2008 to 2014.
CeSTII has completed its thirteenth full year of operations and is increasingly gaining recognition as a centre of expertise in S&T statistics and indicators. Moreover, the original vision that led to its creation has been vindicated by the growth of research output, and a staff that has demonstrated its ability to deliver, to innovate, and to stretch the boundaries of its knowledge and expertise. CeSTII is now in the business of knowledge production, measurement and sharing, and interacts with peers nationally and internationally.
CeSTII’s work largely focuses on the national R&D survey, South African business innovation survey and other science, technology and innovation (STI) related work. The work also extends to a broad collegiate, and dialogues with researchers and practitioners around the globe. As CeSTII is now established in the business of science and technology (S&T) surveys, measurement and indicators, it enjoys extensive interaction with peers nationally and internationally. The unit works closely with the National Experts in Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI), S&T offices in other African countries, the NEPAD S&T Secretariat, UNESCO, and other international agencies.