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South Africa: Gauteng Targets Biotech Innovation
Source: ITWeb News
Source Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 29, 2014

The department, along with life sciences incubator eGoliBio and the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), this week announced the completion of the first phase of the BioPark facility which aims to boost the commercialisation of the country's biotechnology output.

 

Ben Durham, chief director for bio-innovation at the Department of Science and Technology, notes government needs a long-term outlook for SA's biotechnology sector to flourish. "It's not just about projects, but building support structures."

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McLean Sibanda, CEO of the Innovation Hub, adds the hub will form part of the facility's strategic objectives to use innovation as a key driver of economic development for the region and the country.

 

Collaborative approach

 

According to the GGDA, the facility will look to boost biotechnology innovation in the health, agriculture and industrial sectors. The agency says companies of different sizes will be encouraged to collaborate in the development and commercialisation of solutions emanating from the country.

 

The Department of Science and Technology unveiled the SA bio-economy strategy earlier this year, noting it wanted to broaden the scope beyond biotechnology to encompass "the entire value chain in a range of areas of possibility and opportunity".

 

In a move to improve innovation in the sector, the provincial Cabinet resolved to develop a business plan for the establishment of the BioPark in 2011. The province then formulated the Gauteng Innovation and Knowledge Economy Strategy to highlight biotechnology's importance for SA's economic development.

 

According to the GGDA, the facility will look to boost biotechnology innovation in the health, agriculture and industrial sectors. The agency says companies of different sizes will be encouraged to collaborate in the development and commercialisation of solutions emanating from the country.

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