Title: South Africa's national system of innovation and knowledge economy evolution: thinking about 'less favoured regions'

Authors: Lucienne Abrahams; Thomas E. Pogue

Addresses: Learning, Information, Networking, Knowledge (LINK) Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, P.O. Box 601, Wits 2010, Johannesburg, South Africa. ' Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa and Business Forecasting Center, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95219 USA

Abstract: This article reviews some basic features of inequality in South African society and in the national innovation system, using national research survey data. It poses questions about how sub-national innovation systems might evolve in the 'less favoured regions' of South Africa. It commences with a brief overview of interpersonal inequality and the regional bias in inequality with respect to the economy. It explores this regional bias in relation to its effects on the innovation system. It integrates earlier research on innovation system perspectives in two sub-national environments, the KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces. The article uses particular themes from the literature on regional economies pertinent to an analysis of innovation in less favoured regions and concludes that South Africa needs locally-informed strategic approaches to push forward the formation of sub-national innovation systems, using in particular the infrastructure and resources available in universities.

Keywords: innovation systems; social inequality; knowledge economy; less favoured regions; policy-making; South Africa; society; sub-national systems; interpersonal inequality; regional bias; sub-national environments; KwaZulu-Natal; provinces; Free State; regional economies; locally-informed approaches; strategic approaches; university infrastructures; university resources; higher education; universities; technological learning; technological development; development policies; R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2012.044877

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.58 - 82

Available online: 13 Jan 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article