Science, technology and innovation policy

Conference on Innovation for Inclusive Development: agenda and presentations


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21 November 2012

President Hotel, 4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay,
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


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9:00-10:15. Session 1: Opening Session          

Moderator:  Thulani Mavuso, Chief Operations Officer, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

Welcome and opening remarks: Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General: SocioEconomic Partnerships, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

Yuko Harayama, Deputy Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD

Pierre Mohnen, Professor, UNU-MERIT

Presentation of the OECD report: Caroline Paunov, Economist, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD

Questions and discussion

10:45-12:15. Session 2: Innovation and Inequalities: Is There a Trade-off?                 

Emerging and developing countries often have “islands of excellence” which are very innovative, world-leading businesses, sectors, regions and research institutions or universities. These coexist with a large group of unproductive firms, not only in the informal sector.

Questions for the discussions include the following:

  • What are the approaches taken by national innovation policies to develop frontier sectors and activities? Do these approaches increase performance gaps across firms?
  • What policies are in place to foster dissemination and innovation performance of laggard businesses? Are any of these policies targeting the informal sector?
  • Are social issues and inequalities part of national innovation agendas? Which are examples of approaches towards addressing them?  Is reducing skills gaps a priority?

Moderator:  Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD                   


Michael Kahn, Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University and Director at Research and Innovation Associates, South Africa

Parveen Arora, Advisor, National Science and Technology Management Information of the Department of Science and Technology, India 

Gillian Marcelle, Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation, University of the Witwatersrand

Bingyou Lu, China Rural Technology Development Center, MOST, China

Victor P. Mammana, Director, Renato Archer Centre for Information Technology, Brazil


12:15-14:00. Keynote speech and lunch break      

“Inclusive Innovation: A New Emerging Paradigm”
Raghunath A. Mashelkar, President of the Global Research Alliance and National Research


14:00-15:30. Session 3: Can Inclusive Innovation Help Tackle Inequality?  

This session will focus on the contributions innovation can make towards improving the welfare of lower- and middle-income groups. A first way is described by “frugal” innovation; these are products that help improve welfare and entrepreneurship of lower-income groups. A second way has been referred to as “grassroots” innovation which are innovative activities undertaken by lower-income groups.

Questions for the discussion include the following:

  • What is the potential of inclusive innovation for lower- income groups? What needs to be done to remove barriers to their wider uptake including in rural areas?
  • Do ICT-based innovations have the potential to substantially alter opportunities for lower-income groups? What role can private and public sector play? What are successful examples?
  • To what extent should national innovation policies focus on “frugal and grassroots innovation”?
  • What should be the main tools?

Moderator: Yonah Seleti, Chief Director: Indigenous Knowledge System, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa


Fernando Santiago, Senior Program Officer, IDRC

Brian Child, Associate Professor, University of Florida 

Anupam Khanna, Chief Economist & Director-General, Policy Outreach at the National Association of Software & Service Companies (NASSCOM), India

Aldo Stroebel, Director of International Academic Projects in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Associate Professor, University of the Free State 

Adrian Ely, Head of Impact and Engagement, ESRC STEPS Centre

15:45-17:15. Session 4: Panel Discussion - Identifying Research Priorities to Inform Policy     

Sessions 1, 2 and 3 have discussed how development leads to substantial transformations of the economic systems of developing and emerging economies, so that distributional issues can be even more substantial. At the same time innovation offers potential means of addressing outcomes of growth dynamics that are not inclusive. Questions for the concluding discussion include the following:

  • What do private and public initiatives do to address financing needs of both laggard businesses and “frugal and grassroots innovation” projects? What can help improve their performance?
  • Do policies aimed at supporting innovation foster inequalities in revenues, rewarding only the best trained and most skilled with access to resources? Is there anything policies should do differently?
  • What future research priorities are important to help inform innovation policy with regards to inclusive development?

Moderator: Fred Gault, Professor Extraordinaire, Tshwane University of Technology and United Nations University, MERIT


Bart Verspagen, Director of UNU-MERIT and Director-Dean of the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) at Maastricht University

Esperanza Lasagabaster, Service Line Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The World Bank

Govindan Parayil, Vice-Rector of UNU-University and Director of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies

Rasigan Maharajh, Chief Director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Faculty of Economics and Finance, Tshwane University of Technology


17:15-17:45. Closing Remarks     

Dominique Guellec, Head of Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD

Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General: Socio-Economic Partnerships, Department of Science, Technology and Industry, South Africa