Some sectors continue investing in R&D despite economic challenges

The 2015/16 National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D Survey) report released today shows that, despite the economic challenges, some institutional sectors have continued investing in R&D. South Africa's gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) in 2015/16 was R32,337 billion, an increase of 10,2% in nominal terms on the year before.

GERD as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), a key indicator of R&D intensity in the economy, rose three basis points to 0,80%.  However, this increase was in a period of slowing economic growth.  GDP increased by only 1,3% in 2015, in comparison to 1,7% in 2014 and 2,5% in 2013.

The R&D Survey, carried out on behalf of the Department of Science Technology (DST) with the support of Statistics South Africa, provides statistics on South Africa’s performance in key indicators of R&D expenditure and the human resources devoted to R&D. It is undertaken annually by the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII), based at the Human Sciences Research Council.

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