Bold Maritime Sector road map to position SA as a globally recognised maritime nation by 2030

The implementation of the Research, Innovation and Knowledge Management Road Map for the South African Maritime Sector is currently underway. The recently launched Maritime Road Map was developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and funded by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).

The Maritime Road Map, with strong linkages to government’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) programme, was developed through extensive stakeholder consultation and features eight objectives for strengthening research, innovation and knowledge management to enable South Africa to become globally recognised as a maritime nation by 2030.

Achieving the Maritime Road Map objectives will ensure that, by 2030:
1. We have a maritime culture and recognise and learn from our maritime history.
2. We have an enabling governance framework for the maritime sector.
3. We have an efficient system of coordination, collaboration and knowledge sharing and have taken measures to reduce red tape in order to promote investment and development.
4. We utilise our resources sustainably and protect our natural resources in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
5. We have a research, innovation and knowledge management system that is relevant, well-functioning, targeted and multi-disciplinary.
6. We have structured financing of initiatives in the sector and sustained maritime economic growth.
7. We prioritise safety and security and military protection within and beyond our EEZ.
8. We have national, regional and international presence and recognition

April 2017 saw the start of the implementation phase of the Maritime Road Map. To date, this has taken the form of sector coordination activities by communicating various aspects of the Road Map across the maritime sector and facilitating regional workshops. The aim of these workshops was for participants to reflect on the progress of activities linked to the Maritime Road Map, and to define priorities and opportunities for its implementation. The sector coordination workshops, which were held in Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, yielded interesting insights about important developments in the maritime sector as detailed in the Report on Sector Coordination.

Going forward, the CSIR Maritime Road Map team will continue its collaboration with SAIMI in the areas of stakeholder coordination, supporting research in priority areas and supporting a post-graduate programme. According to CSIR senior researcher, Nikki Funke, “The stakeholder coordination component could take the form of addressing some of the priorities and opportunities identified in the Report on Sector Coordination such as organising theme-specific workshops on the implementation of the Maritime Road Map.”

The Maritime Road Map also identifies a number of priority areas for research, innovation and knowledge management. Partnerships with public and private sector entities should be encouraged to ensure that the applied research that is conducted is relevant and that a pipeline is created for the uptake of this research. “The research questions identified in the Road Map and through the stakeholder engagement process will guide the SAIMI research agenda and projects to support technology innovation, as we aim to become a centre of knowledge and information for the maritime sector,” says SAIMI chief executive officer, Prof Malek Pourzanjani. “The Road Map also opens up numerous topics for further study – aligning postgraduate studies with the specific research areas identified in the road map will serve to advance the research, technology and innovation needs of South Africa as a maritime nation.”

About The Author

Issued by CSIR

Tendani Tsedu - Group Manager: CSIR Strategic and Stakeholder Communication