Lumec was appointed by Innovate Durban in 2019, 2020 and 2021 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 developed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses are seen as crucial for economic growth and development. Knowledge also measures new ideas in the form of patents, as well as new research produced by researchers and doctoral students.
- Investment describes the amount of investment in terms of rand value that is directed towards innovation, research and development in various sectors.
- Infrastructure measures internet access in KZN in comparison to other provinces in South Africa.
- Ecosystem relates to the environment within which innovation takes place and includes events and funding instruments.
- Lastly, the impact category measures the benefits of innovation across various areas including revenue, employment and economy.