The State of Innovation in KZN

Lumec was appointed by Innovate Durban as the researcher on the project to develop KwaZulu-Natal’s (KZN) first Innovation Publication which shows the state of innovation in KZN. The objective of the publication is to provide stakeholders in the ecosystem, including innovators, investors and government, with up to date information and trends in the innovation space. The publication is a compilation of numerous indicators that are used to measure the level of innovation in the province. Furthermore, the publication showcases innovators from KZN who are at varying stages of development in the innovation pipeline. An additional output from the project was the development of a dashboard which allows stakeholders to interact with the indicators and provides access to videos and interviews of the KZN’s innovators.

The publication measures innovation under the following categories:

  • People – relates to the human capital and knowledge generated that enables and accelerates innovation and creativity. Critical skills such as those learned and honed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses are vital for industrialisation and economic growth as well as new ideas in the form of patents, and new research produced by researchers and doctoral students.
  • Investment – examines the level of investment that is directed towards research, development and innovation in the province.
  • Infrastructure – The main indicator in infrastructure is internet access which was measured across the 3 major provinces and by geotype i.e. metro, urban and rural areas.

Future publications will attempt to improve data collection across various sources and answer numerous questions that were left unanswered at the end of this publication.