Thomson Jennifer Ann

Report
The 2013 South African
Bioeconomy Strategy
Jennifer A Thomson
Dept Molecular and Cell Biology
University of Cape Town
South Africa
National Biotechnology
Strategy 2001
• Biotechnology Innovation Centres (BICs)
• National Biotechnology Advisory Committee
• Govt articulate single policy position on
biotech
• Took 10 people 2 weeks (with many
interviews)
• Approved (with payment via President) BUT
single policy never occurred
Biotechnology (Regional)
Innovation Centres
• LIFElab (KZN) amino acids,
bioprocessing
• BioPAD (JHB)  animal vaccines,
diagnostics, health
• Cape Biotech  health care, algal tech
• PlantBio  plant biotechnology
Biotechnology Advisory
Committee
•
•
•
•
GMO Act – time frames (still on table)
Consumer Protection Act - labelling
Biotech company failures – revisiting
Many problems due to >> DST (Agric.,
Environ., T and I) – no buy in
• Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) –
warned of impending disaster 
2008 dissolved BICs  investigation
Bioeconomy Strategy 2013
• Committee(s)  5 years
• Bioeconomy > Biotechnology
• Activities using bio-innovations 
sustainable economic, social,
environmental development
• “DST as lead agent to work with other
depts. Will drive consultative
process”
Innovation Pipeline (nonlinear)
• Concept/idea – National Research
Foundation (NRF)
• Research – NRF
• Development - ?? GAP! Many small
companies fold here
• Productisation – TIA
• Manufacturing – TIA
• Commercialisation – TIA
Highlights of the Strategy
• Venture Capital fund – public/private
facilitated by DST – use govt funds
to attract private capital
• Alignment of regulations and
legislation
• Communication and marketing
• Agriculture, health and industry
/environment sectors
Agriculture
• “Responsible genetic engineering
remains a critical technology.. and
presents a significant competitive
opportunity..”
• Of three sectors this has “highest
economic impact.”
• “Expanded R&D essential..”
• Animal vaccines highlighted
• Development of ‘energy crops’
Health
•
•
•
•
•
Vaccines esp. TB and HIV – all imported
Diagnostics esp. TB and HIV
Medical devices – 80-90% imported
Biodiscovery
Indigenous knowledge
Industry and Environment
•
•
•
•
Enzyme manufacturing (all imported)
Biofuels
Wastewater treatment
Bioprospecting (biodiscovery) – SA 3rd
most biologically diverse country
Legislation needing change
• Consumer Protection Act – labelling 
“may contain genetically modified
ingredients”
• GMO Act – time frames not complied with
(eg. appeals 180 d max  > 2 yrs)
• Biodiversity Act – who are the ‘knowledge
holders’?
• TIA Act – equity holder, M&E,
implementation (skills, relationships..)
• Labour Act – millstones eg. employment
and firing, company registrations…
Implementation
• Driven by DST
• July high-level meeting with private
sector, other govt depts, research
institutions…
• Legislation problems  meetings with
DGs various depts.
• NBAC + Minister 16 August
• Report back ICABR 2014 (Nairobi??)

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