Universities of Technology as Conduits for Innovation and Regional Economic Development in South Africa by Dr Phaho
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Universities of Technology as Conduits for Innovation and Regional Economic Development in South Africa by Dr Phaho



Dr Phaho’s (Chief Executive Officer, Tshumisano Trust) presentation at the SATN Annual Conference 2009. ...

Dr Phaho’s (Chief Executive Officer, Tshumisano Trust) presentation at the SATN Annual Conference 2009.

Theme: “Technological innovation at Universities in South Africa: towards industrial and socio-economic development”

16 - 17 July 2009
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Bellville Campus.



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Universities of Technology as Conduits for Innovation and Regional Economic Development in South Africa by Dr Phaho Universities of Technology as Conduits for Innovation and Regional Economic Development in South Africa by Dr Phaho Presentation Transcript

  • Universities of Technology as Conduits for Innovation and Regional Economic Development in South Africa SATN Conference 2009 15 - 17 th July 2009 CPUT, Bellville Campus, Cape Town
    • Presentation Outline
      • Introductory Remarks
      • South Africa’s Challenges
      • Tshumisano Trust: Enabling Innovations & Knowledge Transfer from UoT’s to the Productive Sector
      • Exemplary Strategies for Regional Economic development - RALIS
      • Conclusions
    • Key Elements for Sustained Economic Growth
      • Human Capital
      • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
      • Innovation - Diffusion & Exploiting of Science and Technology outputs
      • Vibrant Entrepreneurial Culture (namely High Growth, Innovative SME’s)
    • Source: 2001 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Report, The New Economy: Beyond the Hype. OECD, Paris.
    • Why Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s)??
    • SME’s are central to Economic Growth and Employment Creation in OECD and BRIC Countries
    • Benefit of Economics of Scope rather than Economics of Scale – nimbleness and shielded from Exogenous shocks
    • More likely to offer steadier and flexible levels of Employment even during an economic downturn
  • South Africa’s Growth Challenges Innovative & Entrepreneurial firms
    • Factor/Efficiency-driven Economy Innovation-driven Economy
  • Regional Economic Development – The Evolving role of Higher Academic Institutions
      • In the past, Universities focused on their core mandates: Teaching and Research
      • Changing government priorities as well as Budget cuts led to a Universities plays a more active role in society globally referred to as Third Mission:
        • Participation in industrial development and competitiveness on a regional/local level (LRIS) via a networked approach
        • Specific focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) which are seen as engines for economic growth and job creation
  • Productive Sector Education Advice, Consulting Interns Postgraduate students solve problems & write thesis about it Updated know-how on current challenges >> updated curriculum Technical services (testing / metrology, prototyping) Contract research Academic secondment to industry Universities
  • South African Government Response
  • “ TSHUMISANO” Tshumisano Trust is an Agency of the National Department of Science and Technology to Strengthen Technology Transfer and Diffusion Initiatives at Universities of Technology to Support SME's
  • “ TSHUMISANO” Technology Stations Programme This is achieved by Establishing Technology Stations ( Technology Transfer Centers ) at Universities Nationwide
  • The Technology Stations Programme, is designed to strengthen and accelerate the interactions between Universities and SME's . The Technology Stations funded under this Programme will play a major role in identifying the specific needs of SME's and will provide the adequate technology solutions based on the Universities' of Technology full potential to improve the competitiveness of their SME clientele in selected sectors .
    • Within the supported SME’s:
    • I mproved competitiveness through world class products , production technologies or services .
    • Increasing capacity for continuing technology assimilation and innovation .
    • Within the participating Universities:
    • I mproved and enriched R&D as well as teaching and learning activities leading to:
    • Better understanding of SME needs
    • Location & Scope
  • Agro Processing and Chemical Cluster
    • To Support the Chemicals and the Agro-Processing Industry .
    • Formulations, Pharmaceutical and the Natural/Indigenous Products, Detergent & Paint .
    • Testing and analysis in manufacturing low-end products.
  • Primary Manufacturing Cluster
    • The secondary manufacturing cluster focuses on advanced manufacturing and value adding services within three critical industrialized sectors
    • Specialises focus is in product development and prototyping
    • Application of Smart materials, textiles and reverse engineering
  • Secondary Manufacturing Cluster
    • This is a support cluster with service of system automation and processing of materials .
    • Material compositions and casting (foundry) solutions.
  • IAT_GP Tshwane University of Technology Structure IAT_ Project Management Unit (Advisory Board) Tshumisano Trust CEO National Tooling Coordinator IAT_WC Stellenbosch University IAT_EC Walter Sisulu University
      • Summary of Activities
      • FY2008/9
  • Are We doing Enough as Compared to Our Competitors?
  • Zhongguancun Science Park Started 1988: Employees over: 1 million people. Incubate over 20 000 High Technology SME’s Well know graduate: Lenovo
  • Addressing Regional Economic Challenges - The RALIS Initiative in the South African Clothing & Textile Industry
  • The Role of the Local University of Technology: CPUT as a Case Study
    • Clothing and Textile Technology Station
    • (Technology Transfer Center)
    • Situated at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Western Cape
    • The Technology Transfer Center was established in 2001 with funding from the National Department of Science and Technology
    • TSP was established by through an implementation agency called the Tshumisano Trust
    • It provides innovative solutions and skills development to SME’s in this industry to ensure they are globally competitive in terms of product and process innovation
    • The sector is concentrated in Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape Provinces
    • It employs over 150,000 people in South Africa
    • There are approx 2,000 active clothing, textile, footwear and leather companies of which 80% are clothing and textile industries
    • 86% of these companies are classified as SME’s (employing less that 500 employees)
    • This industry generated sales of R34 billion to total manufacturing output – however only 20% of it is exported
  • Challenges to the Clothing & Textile Industry in SA
    • Cheaper imports from low cost countries
    • Proliferation of illegal imports and dumping of clothing and textile products
    • Low output per employee in SA firms
    • Low level of Technology investment and upgrades by SME’s
    • Emergence of world class manufacturing practices in competitor countries
    • Threat posed by Global Value Chain phenomenon
  • Role-players in the Clothing and Textiles Industry in Western Cape
  • Access to Governmental Skills Levy Clothing and Textile Firms (SME’s) CPUT TSCT Product/Process Improvement & Testing CLOTEX Access to mentorship, training and Information on trade contracts UNIVERSITIES OF TECHNOLOGY Access to Industry related Training and Experts CTFL-SETA Funding of Training TEXFED Trade matters and Legislative changes
  • Rapid Appraisal of Local Innovation System (RALIS): The Case of the Clothing & Textile Industry
    • A methodology that could yield, within a short period of time,
      • a diagnosis of the main features of a local innovation system
      • main mechanisms and bottlenecks in innovation , technology upgrades and knowledge transfer in a specific industry
      • a number of proposals for practical activities to strengthen the local innovation system and thus improve competitiveness especially amongst SME’s.
      • It is a rapid, practical, bottom-up participatory , network stimulating and innovation – oriented approach to value chain development and Local and Regional Development
  • Process of Initiating and Executing the Clothing and Textile RALIS
    • The RALIS process started with a major stakeholder meeting, represented by all 4 pillars in 2004
    • B ottlenecks within the Clothing and Textile value chain with specific focus on SME’s in the sector was highlighted
    • The participatory diagnostic engaged 90 leaders and senior managers across the whole sector value chain
    • Innovation systems and processes along the value chain was diagnosed, identifying opportunities to improve the competitiveness of the sector – by means of innovation and technology
    • A limited number of practical proposals , championed by recognized key actors in the industry was then agreed upon – categorized as quick wins, medium and long term activities
  • Outcomes of the Clothing and Textile RALIS
    • 15 quick win, medium and long term proposals to address key issues such as marketing , productivity , quality and service levels was the result
    • In 2008 an assessment of the outcome and impact of the RALIS was conducted
    • Out of the 15 initiatives identified, 80% was realized
    • The RALIS led to a plethora of collaborative activities among key industry stakeholders – not willing to work together prior to the exercise i.e. encourage clustering
    • It established basic methodologies which now enable stakeholders and companies to work together more effectively
  • Conclusions & Policy Recommendations
    • UoT’s can and do play as critical role in regional economy in terms of:
      • Innovation upgrade
      • Skills Development
    • They can act as “magnets” to attract troubled companies in key regional industries to share best practices & learning through clustering activities
    • Going forward, there is a need to expand the work of Government entities such as Tshumisano to enhance the role of UoT’s in local, regional & national economic activities