For South Africa to be globally competitive, it needs to find new ways of boosting the economy through industrial development.
This is the word from Dr Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, speaking at the 6th CSIR Conference.
“The CSIR conference theme of “Ideas that work for industrial development”, is important and relevant as the premium for innovation has raised significantly especially with the adaptation to local technologies being unleashed as one of the most dominating domains that should be adopted to improving local challenges,” Davies says.
He adds that South Africa needs to strengthen government relations with science and technology organisations in order to support industrial development and accelerate efforts against any trade barriers that currently exist.
According to Davies, too many local technologies have been exported because we could not commercialise them and this is exactly why efforts to impact industrial development need to be strengthened.
The conference, held in Pretoria last week, aimed to provide an interactive platform for stakeholders to share their experience and insights on broader issues relating to South Africa’s industrial development, as well as to engage on how stakeholders can collaborate to address the challenges and opportunities of industrial development.
Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the CSIR, says a conference that focuses exclusively on how scientific, engineering and technological research can contribute to industrial development seems perfectly cogent.
“If we are to decisively address South African challenges such as poverty, inequality and unemployment, we need to maximise our contribution to industrial development, through the establishment of new industries and enterprises, as well as the development of innovative technologies that contribute to South Africa’s competitiveness.”
He adds that engaging with stakeholders on ways to strengthen the CSIR’s role in industrial development and providing solutions that add value to some of South Africa’s pressing challenges is something that the CSIR looks forward to.”