Pretoria — The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, says innovation drives economic development, and science and technology are contributors to innovation.
Davies was addressing delegates at the dti's annual Technology Awards ceremony that was held in Kimberley on Friday.
The purpose of the awards is to raise awareness of the benefits of using technology to improve the competitiveness of enterprises and also to recognise individuals and organisations that contributed towards technology promotion and innovation in South Africa.
"Developed and industrialised countries have pinned their hopes on innovation to drive the economy. It is significant for us as a country to produce more innovators and effective entrepreneurs who can generate income and build sustainable businesses for the future," said Davies.
He also said the private sector, especially big businesses, should partner with government on technological innovations and enhance the work that is already there.
"The department will again provide bursaries in 2013 to deserving learners from disadvantaged communities in the Northern Cape to pursue university degrees in science, engineering and technology," said Davies.
The minister congratulated all winners and finalists and said all of them were winners because they had already contributed to the technology and innovation for South Africa.
Northern Cape MEC for Economic Affairs and Tourism John Block said innovation provided opportunities within the market for job creation.
"Maths and science are now seen in a different light and everyone wants to be associated with it. The Northern Cape has proved to be amongst the best when coming to innovation and technology," said Block.
The department's Technology Awards are a combination of the three technology programmes, namely, the Support Programme for Industrial Innovation
(SPII) administered by the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP) administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).