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Bioeconomy in South Africa

The bioeconomy already found its way into South Africa’s innovation policy several years ago.

Thus in 2008, the 10-year development plan (TYIP, 2008-2018) already recognised "strengthening of the country’s bioeconomy" as one of five "big challenges". However, the government did not present its bioeconomy strategy until 2013. In this context, the Ministry of Science and Technology identifies three key sectors: the health sector, agriculture and industry in general. In particular, the strategy is intended to provide a key impetus for the agricultural sector and the bioindustry, especially with regard to global competitiveness. Examples include biopharmaceuticals and vaccines, biofuels, improved crops, industrial applications and waste recycling. An essential aim of the strategy paper is to better integrate biotechnology into other industries and disciplines in order to achieve holistic solutions. These include information technology, social sciences and engineering.

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