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Research and innovation in South African universities: from the triple helix’s perspective

Scientometrics

Scientometrics

pp 1–26Cite as

Research and innovation in South African universities: from the triple helix’s perspective

  1. 1.
Article

Abstract

This study explores the research and innovation in South African universities within the triple-helix framework. Patents and publications data have been used as output indicators to map the R&D activities of South African universities. The study observed that universities are the most prolific publishers and constitute about 91% of total South African publications. However, universities altogether produce only about 14% of total South African patents. Only a few universities are responsible for both patenting and publication portfolio of South Africa. The collaboration patterns from joint patents show that only about 19% patents are collaborative patents. South African public research institutes are more active in joint patents with universities followed by the foreign universities but local firms are less active in collaborative patents. The similar trends are observed in co-authored articles also. The study recommends that collaboration between universities and local firms need to be strengthened to develop technological capabilities in South Africa. South African universities need to collaborate more with the industries, particularly the local industries or institutes to achieve the ‘entrepreneurial university’ in terms of patents and technology transfer.

Keywords

South African universities Triple helix Industry–academia linkages Social network analysis Patents Scientometrics 
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Report of the 9th Africana Post-Graduate Academy (APGA)

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The 9th Africana Post Graduate Academy (APGA) was held on 3rd May 2018 at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Pretoria Main Campus. The programme started at 8.30 AM with the introduction of resource faculties by TUT’s Postgraduate Research Support Officer Ms Naledi Nthite and Deputy Director, Dr Lawrence Sithole (Research and Innovation, TUT). The title of the academy research training was “High Quality Education and Research for Creative, Inventive, Innovative and Entrepreneurial Post-Graduates in Africa.” TUT’s Research and Innovation Directorate assisted in the organisation of the workshop leading to a day that was enriching in knowledge and learning exchange. For details please see the attached :

 

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Research and Innovation in South African Universities

Swapan Kumar Patra* and Mammo Muchie**

Abstract
This study maps the research and innovation in South African universities within the triple-helix framework. To map the R&D activities of South African universities, patent and publications data are used as an output indicator. The study observed that universities are the most prolific publisher and constitute about 91 percent of total South African publications. However, universities altogether produce only about 14 percent of total South African patents. Productivity is mainly concentrated in Western Cape and Gauteng provinces because of the location of public research institutes and productive universities. For example University of Pretoria and University of Witwatersrand in Gauteng and University of Cape Town and University of Stellenbosch in Western Cape Provinces. Only a few universities are responsible for both patenting and publication portfolio of South Africa. The joint patent trends shows that only about 19 percent patents are collaborative patents. South African public research institutes are more active in joint patents with universities followed by the foreign universities. South African firms are less active in collaborative patents. The study recommends that university and local firms’ collaboration need to be strengthen to develop technological capabilities in South Africa. Also, the regional disparities in productivity need further attention. To achieve the ‘entrepreneurial university’ in terms of patents and technology transfer South African universities need to collaborate more with the local industries or institutes. Further studies will perhaps give a clear picture of technology transfer and the universities incurred benefits from it.

 

* Swapan Kumar Patra: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** Mammo Muchie: DST/NRF Research Professor, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa, ASTU, Ethiopia and TMDC, Oxford University, UK. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & www.sarchi-steid.org.za/

The paper is accepted in 14th Globelics International Conference (12th – 14th October 2016) scheduled to be held in Bandung, Indonesia.

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