An Innovation System in Transition: Main Features and Current Policy Challenges (OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: South Africa 2007)

This chapter reviews the transformation of the South African innovation system since the early 1990s. It first recalls key features of the system as it was at the beginning of that decade and which must have seemed at the time to offer very limited prospects for meeting the goals of a radically changed society as it entered an unfamiliar international and rapidly evolving environment. It then turns to the present and highlights the considerable success achieved in broad areas of the system's performance in spite of the unpromising initial conditions. It moves on to describe some of the sources of that success: recent policy developments, the structures developed for policy-making and implementation, and certain features of the main research and innovation performers. It concludes by noting some of the challenges still to be addressed.
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