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South Africa’s R&D intensity crawls upwards

Image: Wesley Nitsckie [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Government and foreign funding slows, while business funding shows small recovery

South Africa raised its R&D intensity—the percentage of GDP it spends on R&D—by a measly hundredth of a percentage point from 0.82 per cent in 2016/17 to 0.83 per cent in 2017/18, the country’s annual R&D survey reveals.

The survey, published on 24 October, says total R&D expenditure grew by 3.1 per cent year on year to reach almost R39 billion (US$2.7bn) in 2017/18. But this growth has been slowing since the maximum growth rate of 8.3 per cent was recorded in 2014/15.

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