Strengthening intermediaries in the National System of Innovation (NSI): case of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions

SOURCE: African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): B.Mncwango, S.Fongwa
KEYWORDS: DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATION, NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INNOVATION (NSI), SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL FOR NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11715
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15728
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15728

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Abstract

This paper uses the National System of Innovation (NSI) framework to interrogate the role of professional organizations as intermediaries within the South African NSI. Using the case of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), we explore the role of natural scientists within the countrys NSI ecosystem. Employing a survey of all natural science Voluntary Associations (VAs) affiliated with SACNASP, we highlight some successes that support the NSI, as well as current challenges and implications for the NSI. The study shows that while much has been achieved in skills development, more could be done to bolster the impact of SACNASP in the NSI. Findings suggest that collaborations and partnerships are distorted, with weak industry engagement. Ultimately, this paper argues for better governance and more effective engagement within VAs in order to address challenges of funding, skills development, knowledge production, and application.