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The Role of the South African Government in Developing the Biotechnology Industry – from Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres to the Technology Innovation Agency

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  • Ramazan Uctu

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Hassan Essop

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

Biotechnology has been identified as one of the key sectors for future economic growth in many countries, with South Africa being no exception. Consequently, the South African government introduced the National Biotechnology Strategy (NBS) in 2001 whilst trying to modernize the government’s biotech institutions and methods to develop the biotechnology industry given a changing political and technical environment. An important product of the NBS was the establishment of Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres (BRICs) in 2002, which aimed to develop and commercialise the biotechnology industry. This was followed by the establishment of the Technology Innovation Agency (the TIA) in 2008. The latter institute’s aims are to develop South Africa’s ability in transferring a larger percentage of local research and development (R&D) into commercial products and services. This paper will explore and highlight recent changes in the role of the South African government in its attempts to support and develop the biotechnology industry firstly via BRICs and thereafter the TIA.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2012/wp192012/wp-19-2012.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 19/2012.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers172

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Keywords: Biotechnology; Biotechnology Regional Innovation Centres (BRICs); TIA; South Africa;

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  1. Michaela Trippl & Franz Todtling, 2007. "Developing Biotechnology Clusters in Non-high Technology Regions—The Case of Austria," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 47-67.
  2. Hartwich, Frank & Alexaki, Anastasia & Baptista, Rene, 2007. "Innovation systems governance in Bolivia: Lessons for agricultural innovation policies," IFPRI discussion papers 732, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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