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HSE University Develops Science, Technology and Innovation Forecast for South Africa

HSE University Develops Science, Technology and Innovation Forecast for South Africa

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On December 4, a forum on developments in science, technology and innovation (STI) was held in Pretoria, South Africa. There, a 10-year development plan was presented, based on an S&T forecast commissioned by the South African government and developed by the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge.

This foresight project, which outlines key areas for STI development up until 2030 and its impact on the South African economy, was developed by HSE experts together with the Non-Zero-Sum Development Group, which carries out foresight research for African countries.

The researchers focused on how S&T innovations may help South Africa cope with its persistent socio-economic challenges in regards to inequality, poverty, unemployment, education and health care. Technology and innovation should promote not only industrial growth, but sustainable and inclusive development in the country’s economy as a whole.

Alexander Sokolov, Director of the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge International Research and Educational Foresight Centre, and Ozcan Saritas, Deputy Head of the Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies, represented HSE University at the forum, which was been organized by the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) (South Africa).

The experts avoided prescribing the South African authorities any particular measures for their recommendations. Instead, they emphasized the need to coordinate activities performed by state, social and private institutions. Today, they often act disjointedly, without coordinating their own respective economic, social and environmental policies. Combining these efforts could illuminate considerable growth potential, as the project’s authors postulate.