Innovation & Industrialisation

Call for papers

TIPS will be holding its 2019 Annual Forum on 30 & 31 May 2019 in partnership with the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development (SARChI Industrial Development) based at the University of Johannesburg, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Department of Science and Technology (DST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

The conference will bring together researchers and policymakers to explore the linkages between innovation and industrialisation.

Those wishing to contribute papers are invited to submit their title and abstracts of up to 500 words to Daphney Mabuza at TIPS via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To be considered, abstracts should be submitted by 1 March 2019. Between 20 and 25 papers will be selected for development of final papers, which will then be presented at the conference. Authors will be notified of the decision in February. Final papers are due for submission by 30 April 2019.

Abstract submissions should include full contact details of the authors.
The flight and accommodation costs of a maximum of 15 presenters will be covered by TIPS.
(only one presenter per paper will be covered).

2019 Forum Theme and Context

The theme of the 2019 forum is: Innovation and Industrialisation.


Innovation is an essential element for economic growth and technological upgrading is a key aspect of industrialisation. Despite increased public funds injected into science, technology and innovation (STI) as well as a series of policies designed to encourage innovation, South Africa’s innovation activities appear to be constrained. What then is South Africa’s ability to adapt and respond to technological change and especially discontinuous technological change?

The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) recognises the importance of innovation for industrialisation. Each year, the state contributes significant resources as well as a having a range of support measures and institutions. The CSIR, TIA, DST, the dti, public research organisations, universities and other institutions provide funding and / or contribute in other ways to facilitate innovation.

In South Africa and the region there is an urgent need to promote industrialisation as a means to achieve socio-economic development and move towards greater levels of equality and a pro-employment development path. How does innovation support a path towards more inclusive forms of industrialisation? Developing strategic and coherent approaches that maximise the impact of state resources and leverage private sector resources requires significant further research and analysis.

Furthermore, sustainability challenges in South Africa and in the Southern African region requires significant innovation support to address the transition, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. There are also opportunities in innovation linked to green industries that could potentially support this transition. Nevertheless, despite the imperatives of transforming to a low-carbon economy to address climate change, the transition pathway should be just so as not to exacerbate South Africa’s triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The challenges of the Forth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 revolve around technology, innovation and technological change. How do we understand these concepts and their applicability to South Africa and Africa more broadly?

Understanding the challenges within the support framework and funding for innovation and its alignment with industrialisation efforts as well as the impact of innovation on jobs is needed. Additionally, the social implications of disruptive technologies are becoming more appreciated.  

The 2019 Forum will explore these issues and bring together academics, policy makers, as well as organisations and practitioners involved in the various aspects of innovation for industrialisation. The aim is to deepen the understanding of a cross section of issues involved in how innovation is a key feature of industrialisation and the related opportunities and challenges.

Papers are invited on topics including the following:

Papers for the forum would cover both South Africa and the Southern African region and would include:

  • The interplay between industrial policy, technology policy and innovation policy
  • Innovation and sustainable growth and green industries, including the transition to a low-carbon economy
  • Barriers to entry for new entrants and black industrialists
  • Inclusive innovation to address poverty, unemployment and inequality
  • Innovation and small business
  • Financing of innovation and R&D
  • Emerging frames of STI policy (transformative innovation and mission-oriented innovation)
  • Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Governance, values, ethics and just transitions
  • Catch-up via indigenous STI and/or international technology transfer
  • The role of design, engineering and management in building absorptive capabilities
  • Regional integration
  • Public procurement as a lever for innovation and industrialisation
  • The role of multinational companies and access to global value chains

Papers on these themes in the context of Southern African countries (or beyond) are welcomed.

Papers that explore related themes or other issues related to industrial development will also be considered.

Presentations from practitioners in the field of innovation and Industrial Development will also be considered.