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POSTPONED – Measurement of Innovation in the South African Cultural & Creative Industries: A Methodological Challenge?

26 March 2020
12:30 - 14:00

Presenter: Gerard Ralphs, Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators

Moderator: Prof. Sharlene Swartz, Executive Director: Education and Skills Development, HSRC


Time: 12h30  – 14:00

Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below)

South Africa’s Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) contributed 2.9% of GDP in 2013/14, or R90.5  billion—exceeding the contribution of agriculture (2.2%) in that period (Snowball, 2017). By 2011 creative goods and services accounted for one fifth of world trade next to minerals/oil, electronic equipment, machinery, and vehicles (Restrepo & Marquez, 2013). South Africa, however, has typically been a net importer of CCI goods and services: Between 2002 and 2010, South African CCI exports increased from R2.42 billion to R3.12 billion, while imports grew from R4.13 billion in 2002 to R15.62 billion in 2010 (Kaiser & Associates / KEA European Affairs, 2012). A key question facing cultural, innovation, and industrial policy makers is how the sector can be grown and its (global) competiveness enhanced.

Traditional Oslo innovation surveys provide a useful empirical tool to assess the innovation performance of economic sectors, through the lens of firm-level activity. However, to the extent that innovation in the CCI takes place outside of the formal sector—in highly contingent, informal settings—are traditional approaches sufficient to create an evidence-base appropriate to the South African context?

In thinking through this question, this seminar will present an overview of the South African orange economy in a global context, establishing the argument that an innovation measurement agenda is critical to the future of the CCI. In doing so, it will raise a set of methodological questions for discussion with participants: Are “creativity” and “innovation” synonymous in the CCI? Is it possible to measure “creativity” and “culture”? What kinds of adaptations to existing research instruments, tools or approaches are needed to develop context-specific measurement of innovation in the CCI? How can the CCI come to occupy a greater position within South African innovation policy discourse?

This seminar is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar is being recorded and will be published on the HSRC podcast channel.

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Kindly RSVP by 25 March 2020

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:
Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street Cape Town, Cape Town. Contact: Shouneez Khan, Tel (021) 4667948, or Shouneez Khan <>
Durban:  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or, or Wiseman Mbambo e-mail: