SOUTH AFRICA: On track to R&D spending of 1% of GDP

South Africa is well on track to reach research and development spending of 1% of gross domestic product by the end of 2008, according to Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena, reports Engineering News. The intensity of research and development, which is measured as a percentage of research spending of gross domestic product and indicates the competitiveness of an economy, currently stands at 0.9%.

Private enterprise and industry currently fund about half the nation's R&D spend.

The Department of Science and Technology received an allocation of R3.7 billion (just under US$0.5 billion) for the 2008-09 financial year for a wide range of science projects and programmes. Next year, the department will spend R4.2 billion and in 2010-11 it will spend in the order of R4.5 billion.

Mangena said in a copy of a speech delivered in Cape Town, that his department had set aside an extra R195 million for strengthening the scientific capacity of higher education institutions, in a bid to tackle the critical shortage of human resources in science, engineering and technology.
Full report on the Engineering News site