Displaying 1-3 of 3 key documents
Source: South African Journal of Science | December 2008
This paper examines the relative costs of research in South Africa and the apparent disparity in researchers' salaries. A 2004–2005 research and development survey provides data on the unit cost of research across higher education institutions (HEIs), science councils and the business sector. Analysis shows that research costs and salaries are highest in the business sector and lowest in HEIs, although the differences are not as wide as expected. Similarly, overhead costs are lowest in HEIs and highest in the business sector.
But the authors emphasise that while HEIs may provide the cheapest research — based on cost per hour — this does not mean that they necessarily provide the cheapest 'cost per deliverable', i.e. value to the client.
The authors call for more regular and detailed data to better understand the researcher labour market. They propose an annual salary survey focused on public sector researchers and a common pricing model for all institutions performing public research.
Source: International Journal of Biotechnology | 2005
This research article, by Rosemary Wolson at the University of Cape Town, assesses South Africa's biotechnology policies, reviewing three major initiatives — the national research and development strategy, biotechnology strategy and proposed laws to govern intellectual property rights derived from publicly funded research. Wolson explains the origins, goals and implementation of each.
The projects aim to create a coordinated strategy for promoting biotechnology in South Africa. Wolson concludes that the efforts are an encouraging sign of governmental commitment, but notes the continuing challenge of integrating the individual projects into a coherent framework. This may depend on promoting social networks to catalyse innovative industries.
She calls for the government to encourage more private enterprise and investment while remaining committed to basic research.
This article is useful to anyone hoping to understand the policy framework for biotechnology in one of sub-Saharan Africa's key scientific and industrial powers.
Source: Crop Protection | 2004
This research article assesses the potential for biotechnological approaches to overcome major pests, diseases and weeds undermining food security in Africa. The eight authors review three major constraints — parasitic weeds and herbicide-resistant grasses, insect pests, including those carrying plant diseases, and mycotoxins that damage stored grains.
They note that biotechnological solutions to some of these are already being explored, such as insect resistance in maize, but they say that others, like the control of parasitic weeds, will require longer-term study. The authors argue that these should be prioritised in public research programmes and supported by the private sector through donations of useful genes and technologies.
Their methodical discussion helps identify key priority areas for crop biotech research in Africa. This article will be useful to policy analysts, decision makers and research managers working in the field.