SA science shines, regardless of sharp fall in R&D expenditure

CATEGORY: Centre for Science, Know-how and Innovation Indicators
DATE: 15 December 2021

The Centre for Science, Know-how and Innovation Indicators of the Human Sciences Analysis Council pronounces the discharge of the outcomes of the 2019/20 Nationwide Analysis & Experimental Improvement (R&D) Survey. The survey is undertaken yearly on behalf of the Division of Science and Innovation, with assist from Statistics South Africa.

The discharge of the 2019/20 R&D survey knowledge takes place amidst international consideration on the newest-discovered COVID-19 variant (Omicron/B1.1.529), as soon as once more shining the highlight on the nation’s glorious scientific capacities.

Developments in R&D expenditure adopted an analogous trajectory to that noticed within the common financial decline. Gross home product (GDP) decreased by 1.4 of a share level, to 0.1% in 2019, after taking into consideration the revisions as a consequence of StatsSA bench-marking and rebasing of the GDP sequence* to the 2015 12 months.
Gross home expenditure on analysis and growth (GERD) for 2019/20 amounted to R34.485 billion, at present rand values.

GERD is an aggregated measure of in-house R&D expenditure carried out domestically in 5 institutional sectors, particularly authorities, science councils, larger training establishments, the enterprise sector, and the not-for-profit sector.

GERD in fixed 2015 costs fell, from R31.367 billion in 2018/19 to R28.140 billion in 2019/20, which represents a year-on-year change of -10.3%.

South Africa’s R&D depth, that’s, GERD as a share of GDP at present costs, declined by seven foundation factors, from 0,69% in 2018/19 to 0,62 in 2019/20.

Different key headline indicators

  • Authorities maintained robust funding assist for R&D

The federal government sector buttressed total losses in R&D funding. The primary sources of funding for R&D in South Africa are the federal government (together with science councils and college personal funds), and enterprise sectors. Whereas authorities elevated funding total in 2019/20 by R1.942 billion, enterprise decreased funding of R&D by R5.175 billion. Funding from overseas elevated by R664 million total, principally allotted to the enterprise sector.

  • Enterprise expenditure fell, and enterprise shed R&D personnel

The enterprise sector continued a downward development in R&D expenditure evident since 2014/15. Expenditure decreased by a comparatively great amount of R3.744 billion in nominal phrases between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 monetary durations. The enterprise sector additionally shed 4 128 R&D personnel in 2019/20, in tandem with the lack of personnel within the financial system total.

  • R&D continues to development in the direction of utilized analysis

Utilized analysis accounted for many R&D exercise, at 46.6% in 2019/20. This has been the case for no less than the final ten years.  Fundamental analysis elevated proportionally to 32.0% of R&D exercise in 2019/20.

  • The medical and well being sciences and social sciences are key analysis areas

The 2019/20 outcomes present that the strongest focus of R&D exercise is now the medical and well being sciences (21.5%), adopted by the social sciences (16.9%), and third, the engineering sciences (13.4%).

For extra data, please contact Dr Nazeem Mustapha of  CeSTII on tel +27 21 466 7887 or by way of e mail at nmustapha@hsrc.ac.za.

*The present survey and R&D depth sequence was revised to bear in mind the revision of the GDP sequence (Stats SA, 2021). The R&D expenditure in actual phrases was additionally rebased to 2015 fixed costs.