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Research and innovation in South African universities: from the triple helix’s perspective

Article

Abstract

This study explores the research and innovation in South African universities within the triple-helix framework. Patents and publications data have been used as output indicators to map the R&D activities of South African universities. The study observed that universities are the most prolific publishers and constitute about 91% of total South African publications. However, universities altogether produce only about 14% of total South African patents. Only a few universities are responsible for both patenting and publication portfolio of South Africa. The collaboration patterns from joint patents show that only about 19% patents are collaborative patents. South African public research institutes are more active in joint patents with universities followed by the foreign universities but local firms are less active in collaborative patents. The similar trends are observed in co-authored articles also. The study recommends that collaboration between universities and local firms need to be strengthened to develop technological capabilities in South Africa. South African universities need to collaborate more with the industries, particularly the local industries or institutes to achieve the ‘entrepreneurial university’ in terms of patents and technology transfer.

Keywords

South African universities Triple helix Industry–academia linkages Social network analysis Patents Scientometrics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Earlier version of the paper was presented as a poster in 14th Globelics Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia during 12–14th October 2016. Authors acknowledge the useful and constructive comments received from the participants of the conference.

Funding

Funding was provided by The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) - Innovation Studies, Tshwane University of Technology.

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa

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