Summit on White Paper on STI Concludes

Department of Science and Technology

Delegates at the recent Summit on the Draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) agreed that science, technology and innovation lies at the heart of development.

The science and technology department confirmed this in a statement following the conclusion of the Summit last week.

Delegates also held the view that investment in this sector was critical to ensuring long-term growth in South Africa.

The department sought comment on the Draft White Paper in September 2018.

During the summit, the science and technology minister, Kubayi-Ngubane, declared that the Draft White Paper was designed to help South Africa “benefit from global developments such as rapid technological advancement and geopolitical and demographic shifts, as well as responding to the threats associated with some of these global trends”.

"Of all the technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, artificial intelligence is poised to have the most disruptive impact on the place of humans in economic production," she said.

Some of the highlights of the Draft White Paper include instilling an innovation culture in order to raise the profile of STI, boosting partnerships between business, government, academia and civil society to create a more enabling environment for STI and increasing investment, both public and private, in STI.

Meanwhile, during a briefing in parliament on biennial reporting to cabinet on the state of climate change science and technology in South Africa, the department indicated that the 2nd biennial report was due to be placed before cabinet by 31 March 2019.

The preparation process will be more inclusive than that for the 1st biennial report.

The reports flow from the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019 that called for reports to cabinet on the state of climate change science and technology in South Africa.

The 2nd report will also have more comprehensive information and statistics containing detail on investments, research performers, technology developers and innovators.

Sabinet Cape Town Office