Evaluating the decline in THRIP applications between 2006/7 and 2008/9 and possible scenarios for intervention


In defining the problem it is noted that there was a decline of about 30% in the number of applications over the period of investigation. The current global economic recession could not be held responsible for this, since the data studied to formulate the problem was collected before the crisis started in October 2008. A major change in THRIP funding rules was introduced in 2007, that of
a change in the THRIP:Large company partnership funding ratio from 1:2 to 1:3. Large companies feel that this creates a situation that is restrictive to their ability to invest in THRIP projects. This
situation has been complicated by the financial crisis that has hit most business environments in 2009. The investment changes over this period were analysed. Although the absolute number of
applications dropped, the investment amount increased, mainly as a result of the ratio change. The number of large companies participating declined, as well as the number of SMMEs. The increased investment mainly benefited the universities, whilst investment in the universities of technology and the comprehensive institutions remained more or less constant. The so-called “big 7” industry sectors where most THRIP investment is made into were identified to be: energy, chemistry and biochemistry, agriculture, metals, ICT, biotechnology and aerospace. Movement in investment per sector was analysed. THRIP outputs were analysed over the period of investigation and the number of publications decreased sharply, although there is a lag in when publications emerge from research and it may not be related directly to trends in the period of investigation.

This report contains the outcomes of an investigation done on the decline in THRIP applications between 2006/7 and 2008/9. It searches for reasons for the decline, puts scenarios forward for
addressing the reasons and builds a springboard for further strategic contemplation in THRIP.


Evaluation Number:
Report Approval:
Sunday, 31 January 2010
Friday, 01 March 2013
Initiated By:
National Research Foundation and Department of Trade and Industry
Undertaken By:
Technoscene (Dr AP Botha)
Evaluation Period:
July 2009- January 2010
Evaluation Area:
Trade, industry, enterprises
National Outcome:
National Outcome 5: A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path.
Commissioned By:
Evaluation Type:
Evaluation Subject:
Geographic Scope:

Evaluation Documents

File Name
237 EQAT 20130319 sr_mb.pdf
THRIP- Review for Applicationst-2009.pdf 237.pdf

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