South African National Survey of Research & Experimental Development 2007/08

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2008
TITLE AUTHOR(S): D.Labadarios, W.Blankley, N.Molotja, J.Rumbelow, N.Vlotman, W.Sikaka, S.Parker, I.Booyens, H.Magidimisha, K.Heath, V.Lieberum, N.Saunders, P.Sotashe, M.Sibindlana, A.Semaar, M.Siwendu, L.Muller, A.Burns
KEYWORDS: NATIONAL SURVEY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 7617

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Abstract

The National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) is conducted annually by the Human Sciences Research Council's Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology. R&D surveys provide data, collected under strict conditions of confidentiality that are essential for planning at system and institutional level and provide snapshots of key indicators of national competitiveness. The R&D Surveys involve the collection of primary data from the public and private sectors. The public sector includes universities, science councils and government department-based research institutes, and the private sector includes firms and not-for-profit organisations. Between 2001 and 2006, there was a steady increase in South Africa's gross expenditure on R&D (GERD), which rose from 0.73% to 0.95% of GDP. However, the current survey points to a slight decrease in GERD to 0.93% of GDP. Over the same period, the South African economy performed favourably, attaining a GDP growth rate of around 5% and sustained employment growth from the beginning of 2005, which peaked in the third quarter of 2008. The R&D Survey results indicate that both the investment in R&D and the growth in the number of researchers lagged behind these important developments. These observations will be carefully analysed to identify any emerging trends and to inform appropriate policy responses that may be needed, especially if we are to attain the target of GERD reaching 1% of GDP.1