R&D measurement in South Africa
The South African National Survey on Research and Experimental Development is a flagship annual project for CeSTII, which it performs on behalf of the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).
Each year the R&D Survey team reports the latest available data on R&D expenditure and performance across five sectors: higher education, science councils, government, business, and not-for-profit organisations. Statistics are used in the development of science policy to set government R&D priorities and funding levels, and for monitoring and benchmarking purposes.
Frascati Surveys have been carried out internationally for more than 40 years, but common understanding to what properly constitutes R&D remains somewhat problematic.
The Frascati Manual definition of R&D is as follows: “Research and Experimental Development (R&D) is creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock knowledge to devise new applications.”
As much care as possible is taken to develop a common understanding with the respondents of what properly constitutes R&D.
The Frascati Manual is extensive and complex, and considerable effort was invested in developing a User Guide, and supporting the sector participants in completing the questionnaires as fully and accurately as possible The Frascati Manual, however, provides a set of guidelines, not prescriptions.
It is noted that the survey time series was both interrupted (no data in 1999/2000) and subject to methodological variation, since it was executed by different agencies between 1991 and 2001.
This Survey confronted the dual role of conducting the Survey in parallel with capacity building.
Measurement and design
Survey data may be freely used, subject to the acknowledgment of its source and any interpretation or further analysis is the responsibility of the third party.