National survey of research and experimental development (2009/10 Fiscal year): main results 2009/10

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): T.Batidzirai, W.Blankley, I.Booyens, D.Labadarios, V.Leiberum, B.Mabovu, H.Magidimisha, H.Makelane, N.Molotja, L.Muller, N.Mustapha, N.Nkobole, S.Parker, M.Phiri, G.Ritacco, J.Rumbelow, N.Saunders, A.Semaar, M.Sibindlana, W.Sikaka, M.Sithole, M.Siwendu, P.Sotashe, N.Vlotman
KEYWORDS: NATIONAL SURVEY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7733

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Abstract

The National Survey of Research and Experimental Development 2009/10 provides information on research and experimental development (R&D) stocks and flows in five sectors, namely government (GOV), science councils (SCI), higher education (HE), business (BUS) and the not-for-profit organisations (NPO) for the 2009/10 financial year. The information consists of expenditure on R&D and the supply of R&D personnel. The level of GERD, at current prices, amounted to R20.955 billion during 2009/10, compared to R21.041 billion during 2008/09. In current Rand value, GERD decreased by R86 million to R20.955 billion during 2009/10 in contrast to the steady growth seen in previous years. GERD as percentage of GDP stood at 0.87% in 2009/10, a decrease of 0.05 percentage points from 0.92% recorded in the 2008/09 survey. Generally, GERD has been growing in South Africa, but at a declining rate. Over the four-year period prior to 2009/10, this rate was 1.7 percentage points per annum. However, the 2009/10 reference year is the fi rst year since 1993/94 to register a decline in GERD: in 2009/10, the year-on-year growth in GERD amounted to -0.4%. There has been a large year-on-year decrease in R&D expenditure of 9.7% in the business sector, a sector that performs the bulk of R&D in South Africa. Other sectors that reported negative growth in R&D expenditure were the government and not-for-profi t sectors, decreasing by 6.4% and 21.4% respectively. The positive growth of 21.7% in higher education sector and of 10.2% in science councils sector appeared inadequate to offset the larger decreases in the sectors mentioned above. The sources of funding for R&D remained largely "own funding" and the proportion of foreign funding of R&D has, as in the previous reference year (2008/09), shown a small but steady increase. Of the total R&D personnel, 40 797 were researchers in 2009/10, an increase of 842 from 2008/09, measured in headcounts of researchers, technicians and other personnel directly supporting R&D. The total R&D personnel in full-time equivalents (FTEs) increased by 89.8 from 30801.6 in 2008/09 to 30891.3 in 2009/10. The number of researchers within this cohort increased by 408.8 (FTEs) to 19 793.1 between 2008/09 and 2009/10. During 2009/10, South Africa employed a total of 1.5 researchers (FTEs) per 1000 total employed, similar to the value of 1.4 researchers (FTEs) per 1000 total employed in 2008/09. The proportion of female researchers increased by 1.1 percentage points to 40.8%.