Keywords: South Africa, biotechnology policy, innovation policy, technology transfer, intellectual property, R&, D exploitation, publicly funded research, agricultural biotechnology, developing countries, research and development
Towards the establishment of a vibrant South African biotechnology industry: will the recent policy interventions achieve their objectives?
The South African Government has identified biotechnology as a key technology platform and is in the process of implementing a policy framework to promote the development of a national biotechnology industry. The policy interventions have been designed to bridge the 'innovation chasm' between research institutions and industry, which exists as a consequence of inadequate support and weak linkages between stakeholders. The current status and possible impact of three of the main initiatives is discussed. These are the National R&D Strategy, the National Biotechnology Strategy and proposed legislation to govern intellectual property developed from publicly funded research.