The stakeholder consultation workshop, that was organised by the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) on the 21 October 2016 at the Innovation Hub Conference Center in Pretoria, was viewed by delegates as a great step towards the development of South African Innovation Scorecard. Dr Azar Jammine, the NACI Council member who is leading the effort of scorecard development, emphasized the need for a set of composite innovation indicators that the country can use for self assessment of its state of innovation.
He reflected on the current efforts of NACI towards improvement of science, technology and innovation (STI) indicators in South Africa. The flagship South African STI Indicators publication is one of such efforts although the NACI commissioned study to the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), on the gaps for STI indicators in South Africa, generated the valuable input. Dr Jammine explained the importance of STI indicators, especially for performance analysis of key STI policies and strategies; but also in supporting policy development such as the new White Paper on Science and Technology and STI Decadal Plan.
The main presentation came from Prof. Anastassios Pouris who presented the proposed South African Innovation Scorecard framework. Following an extensive assessment of innovation scorecards used internationally such as the Global Innovation Index, the proposed South African Innovation Scorecard uses the Innovation Union Scoreboard framework that has the three main components, namely: enablers, firm-level activities and outputs. Prof. Pouris said the logical indicator framework that is contained within the 2002 National Research and Development Strategy was the first implicit step for South Africa to develop the innovation scorecard.
Ms Christine Yiannakis of Accenture South Africa, Prof. Gerhard Prinsloo of Durban University of Technology, and Dr Peter Jacobs of Human Sciences and Research Council (HSRC) participated on a panel for discussion to share their insight and experience on important indicators for the development of the innovation scorecard. Ms Yiannakis is part of the team that manages the Accenture Innovation Index and she gave valuable inputs for measurement of firm-level innovation activities. Dr Jacobs explained the need to accommodate social impact of innovation as part of the scorecard and he shared with the delegates a range of projects on innovation for inclusive innovation indicators that HSRC in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology are undertaking.
The proposed South African Innovation Scorecard Framework is a draft and NACI still welcomes written inputs by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting conversations and inputs from the rest of the stakeholders. The work done by Prof Pouris is indeed important especially to put a basis on the availability of information and the positioning of the country in an international context.