Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom will on Tuesday officially launch South Africa’s Bio-economy Strategy at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

The Bio-economy Strategy is the successor to the National Biotechnology Strategy of 2001.

It is a science-based strategy that seeks to place bio-innovation as an essential arm of various departments, specifically Health; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Environment; Trade and Industry; Rural Development and Land Reform; Energy and Mineral Resources.

Approved by Cabinet in November last year, the strategy positions bio-innovation as essential to the achievement of government’s industrial and social development goals.

It is also aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP), which considers science, technology and innovation key to the South African developmental agenda, as advances in these fields underpin advances in the economy.

A key aspect of the new strategy is coordination, and the strategy outlines key mechanisms for coordinating innovation efforts, ensuring that role players in academia, science councils and other institutions can work together to make the most of opportunities and resources rather than competing for them.

The launch of the Bio-economy Strategy by the government sees South Africa joining a global trend of finding innovative science-based solutions to improve ordinary people’s lives.