Insite 2008, the biennial International, Science, Innovation and Technology Exhibition, undertaken by The Department of Science and Technology (DST), takes place from 15 to 17 September 2008 at the Sandton Convention Centre, and will run concurrently with the International Association of Science Parks’ (IASP) XXV World Conference on Science and Technology Parks.
Hosted by The Innovation Hub, the IASP World Conference theme – The role of Science and Technology Parks in accelerating knowledge economy growth – contrasts between emerging and more developed economies – is well aligned with Insite 2008, where the role of Science, Technology and Innovation as key drivers of economic growth and development, will be highlighted.
Dr Phil Mjwara, DST director-general, comments: “By staging Insite 2008 alongside such a prominent global conference, we believe we will go some way to bridging the gap between developing and emerging economies, through the sharing of best practices. And, it is only through a competitive economic strategy that we can ensure the relevance of South Africa in the African and international community.”
Three of the DST’s interrelated thematic focal areas, namely: youth and the imperative to address the critical skills shortages in science, mathematics and engineering; strategic economic interventions; and sustainable development, will come under the spotlight at Insite 2008.
The rapidly developing role of Science Parks as a critical ingredient of cities and city regions' competitiveness in the knowledge economy, dovetails with the DST’s view that ‘South Africa can market itself globally and seek science and technology guidelines to its economic challenges’ through these events.
According to Dr Neville Comins, CEO of The Innovation Hub, this role has even more potential for impact within developing economies. “Building a culture of technology and entrepreneurship appears to be one of the challenges facing many developing economies. Science Parks can make a meaningful contribution to addressing this. They stimulate and manage the flow of knowledge and technology amongst universities, research & development institutions, companies and markets.
“The World Conference will provide the ideal platform for learning and sharing knowledge within Africa, and with its global IASP co-members, while the establishment of the IASP Africa Division – which will take place during Conference – will also contribute greatly to this agenda”, adds Dr Comins.