The National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) hosted a stakeholders’ workshop on Friday 4 November 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria. The purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform to discuss the NACI draft report with various stakeholders of the NSI across public and private sectors. The draft report, Towards the Next-Generation Science and Technology White Paper for South Africa, was intended to analyze the effectiveness of actors and instruments such as policy mix in terms of their performance in the NSI. About 70 participants (representatives of stakeholders), who attended the workshop, were expected to provide inputs that would complement the outcomes of the draft report and also inform policy options for the new White Paper on Science and technology.
The draft report was shared with all invited participants few days before the workshop. Following the presentation of the draft report during the workshop, participants raised many fundamental views as an input to the contents of the draft report. Such views included broadening of the focus beyond R&D (i.e. including all forms of innovation), a right mix of all relevant stakeholders (including civil society and business) for a reasonable consensus on where the country is going and a need to identify R&D systems that could foster innovation.
Participants were also able to provide, through a stickers session, key areas that could be used in the development of policy options for the new White Paper in Science and Technology. Those areas, which are already commonly known, included collaboration and coordination, inclusiveness, capacity building and skills, policy learning and data as well as ecosystem view (non-linear). Outcomes of the workshop in general suggest an urgent need to consider these systemic issues when developing the new White Paper on Science and Technology.