Impact is central to the CSIR mandate
The CSIR’s ultimate objective is to have a beneficial effect on the economy, society and environment that we live in. The organisation’s mandate calls for the improvement of the quality of life of the people of South Africa: impact is at the heart of the CSIR’s undertakings.
Further increasing the impact of our RDI
Examples of the beneficial effect of CSIR research, development and innovation (RDI) on the economy, society and the environment that we live in, span more than six decades. But, the enormous development challenges facing the country have resulted in a more urgent call than ever for relevant science to support national priorities. In a bid to respond to this call and to even further increase the impact of our RDI so that the lives of South Africans can improve sooner and in greater measures, the organisation set about sharpening its research and development (R&D) focus.
The CSIR defines impact as the difference made in the economy, environment, society and the quality of life of people resulting from the implementation and exploitation of knowledge and solutions resulting from the CSIR’s research and development activities.
In dealing with impact, the CSIR undertakes both its planning and monitoring based on the entire innovation process, from input to outcome and eventual impact. The organisation understands that planning – during which the desired impact is formulated – is the first step. We pursue impact through numerous pathways, including formal technology transfer processes involving the formal protection and licensing of intellectual property; skills transfer; knowledge transfer in support of decision-making or science contributions to the knowledge base.
The importance of our stakeholders in making an impact
The CSIR places a premium on the involvement of its stakeholders – recognising that impact can be maximised through close stakeholder involvement in all facets of the innovation chain. We believe that stakeholders should be involved from the early planning stages. The CSIR’s stakeholders typically include research partners, paying customers, government departments and the ultimate beneficiaries. We acknowledge all our stakeholders, who continue to believe in the potential that science and technology can unlock, and pay tribute to those who have implemented solutions that have made a difference. We would like to continue to work with you in sharing the stories of our progress.
Demonstrating our impact
The CSIR has started a web-based impact series in a conscious effort to convey the stories of problems solved; solutions implemented; and recommendations taken up. We will also share some case studies which have resulted in longer-term outcomes with significant societal, economic or environmental impact.