Who we are

Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Indicators

Who we are

Globally, science, technology and innovation (STI) drive economic growth and socioeconomic development. In the South African context, STI must address issues of inclusion. We keep abreast of STI activity in formal and informal economies, continuously refining our measurement tools to be locally applicable. This helps us identify areas for economic growth, investment and the development of human capabilities. Established in 2001, the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) conducts national research and development (R&D) and innovation surveys on behalf of South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation, producing national indicators and analyses as a basis for international comparisons and to inform policymaking. Known as an active contributor to Africa’s STI indicator measurement community, CeSTII has built up a rich database of longitudinal trend data from regular business innovation surveys and the South African R&D Survey. The centre finds new ways to interrogate data and helps to address developmental challenges related to the health sector, the green economy, the oceans economy, and South Africa's priority economic sectors.

*We are transitioning to this new website. Looking for CeSTII reports? Visit CeSTII archived web pages. Thanks for your understanding. 

Measuring R&D capacity in South Africa

CeSTII maintains an extensive database of historic unit-level survey responses and, to date, has a rich repository of completed R&D surveys. The annual South African R&D Survey is a key tool to enhance the science, technology and innovation (STI) indicator system for evidence-based policymaking.

Each year, the R&D Survey team reports the latest available data on R&D expenditure and performance across five sectors: higher education, science councils, government, business, and not-for-profit organisations.

Statistics are used for science policy to set government R&D priorities and funding levels, and for monitoring and benchmarking purposes. CeSTII looks forward to undertaking more advanced statistical analysis and modelling of the data and designing complementary in-depth research to engage with specific South African economic development and policy issues.

*We are transitioning to this new website. Looking for CeSTII reports? Visit CeSTII archived web pages. Thanks for your understanding. 

Measuring innovation capacity in local firms

To support businesses, we need to understand their circumstances. A core CeSTII research priority is to improve the quality and extend the focus of business innovation measurement in South Africa. The national business innovation surveys are rolled out in three-year cycles, covering firms in the formal manufacturing, mining, services and commercial agricultural sectors. They are conducted on behalf of the South African Department of Science and Innovation to measure the extent of innovative activity in the industry, agriculture and service sectors of the economy. These surveys are based on the guidelines of the OECD/Eurostat Oslo Manual and the core EU Community Innovation Survey. Using an international methodology allows the results of the South African surveys to be usefully compared with those of other countries.

*We are transitioning to this new website. Looking for CeSTII reports? Visit CeSTII archived web pages. Thanks for your understanding. 

Policy-related indicator development

To promote innovation for sustainable and inclusive development, national science, technology and innovation (STI) measures and indicators must be more appropriate and reflective of developmental challenges in southern Africa.

CeSTII supports the development of new indicator frameworks, including measuring innovation in the informal sector. This work informs collaboration with the HSRC’s Africa Institute of South Africa, the National Advisory Council on Innovation and partnerships in Africa to support capacity building.

Indicator frameworks support the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

*We are transitioning to this new website. Looking for CeSTII reports? Visit CeSTII archived web pages. Thanks for your understanding. 

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