In 2004, the HSRC's research programme on Human Resource Development launched the Working Partnerships series to explore the extent to which the networked practices that are believed to characterise the kwledge ecomy have indeed begun to penetrate South African higher education and industry. One of four publications in the series, the focus of this study is to map the scale and form of research linkages and collaborative practices between higher education institutions and industry in three relatively new, high techlogy fields that have been identified as most likely to generate benefits for South Africa. The fields are Information and Communication Techlogy (ICT), Biotechlogy, and New Materials Development. Given the uneven capacity of higher education institutions, their different historical legacies, and modes of operation, the study demonstrates the ways in which partnerships develop and take different forms in different institutional and kwledge contexts. The book offers an understanding of the conceptions and practices of research partnerships, and provides a valuable insight into South Africa's responsiveness to high techlogy needs and invation.
Glenda Kruss is chief research specialist in the Human Sciences Research Council's Human Resource Development research program.