National Biotechnology Advisory Council

“Feeding the biotechnology pipeline”

“Biotechnology is a knowledge intensive sector, with new scientific discoveries forming the foundation, and feeding the pipeline, of biotechnology product and service innovations. Firms and nations willing to enter the field of biotechnology need a strong foundation in the relevant knowledge base, possibly even more than they need access to capital. Critically, the national knowledge base is synonymous with the availability of human resources for the sector, as the vast majority of knowledge is tacit (i.e. locked up in individual people) rather than codified (i.e. in formal publications and patents) and knowledge is only valuable in as far as it can be used towards productive ends.

The National Biotechnology Strategy of 2002 recognized that the general lack of adequate expertise and skills was a serious constraint to the development of the South African biotechnology sector, despite the existence of several centres of excellence in the country. While several interventions identified by the strategy to address the problem have been implemented since its adoption, the South African biotechnology knowledge base remains weak by international comparison.”

“NBAC, a subcommittee of NACI, has identified a need to host national workshop on “Feeding the biotechnology pipeline” with the main objective to promote and sustained the generation of knowledge and production of innovation skills that are able to support biotechnology growth in South Africa.  Feeding the biotechnology pipeline for a knowledge driven bio-economy requires taking into consideration a core innovation value chain of activities

There will be a session on IP Awareness, and Julian Kinderlerer will be involved in the panel discussion at the meeting.