Science, technology and innovation (STI) play a crucial role in supporting global efforts to eradicate poverty, achieve food security, fight diseases, and reverse environmental degradation, as well as in promoting national socio-economic development, by positively influencing the direction and pace of industrialisation through research and development (R&D), innovation and technology commercialisation.

Recognising these development imperatives, South Africa’s national Department of Science and Technology (DST) was formed in 2003 to champion the country’s STI agenda. This is achieved by contributing to an enabling STI policy environment, providing funding for R&D in national priority areas, and by encouraging greater levels of innovation and technology commercialisation by facilitating and coordinating partnerships across the National System of Innovation.

In this context, the Innovation Bridge serves as a key platform upon which to establish collaborative technology innovation and commercialisation partnerships between government, industry, universities and public research institutions. It is hoped that by showcasing South Africa’s technology capabilities in this manner, more and broader partnerships will be catalysed, both nationally and internationally.