The Economies of Regions Learning Network (ERLN) hosted a 2 day learning event on “SMEs and Technology Transfer” at the Riversands Incubation Hub on 19 and 20 May 2015. 74 attendees from across government, academia and the private sector came together to discuss the key issues and challenges on the topic, with a special emphasis on Regional Innovation Systems and the tools for SME support. Strategies to support technology transfer are a central component of the wider innovation system.
Through the interlinking network of institutions, organisations and partnerships an enabling environment is created not just for the origination of new technologies, but also for their application, dissemination and/or commercialization. The focus of the meeting was precisely on this interlinking and the institutions and players involved in the process through which technology is transferred and applied. The focus of these support strategies is on the infrastructure, facilities and services provided through the support mechanisms of incubators and the role of supplier development programmes. Themes of the learning event included the broad innovation system of South Africa and Regional Innovation Systems, the role of the Triple Helix, tools of support to SMEs for technology transfer and reflections on international best practice on the topic.