Research, Science, Technology, and Innovation Parks: Reviewing Both Mining and Research Tendencies
Z. Tjiparuro1, O. Kgengwenyane2, M. Oageng3
1Botswana International University of Science & Technology, Palapye, Botswana
2InnoLead Consulting & X-Pert Group Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
3Public Procurement & Asset Disposal Board, Gaborone, Botswana
Min. miner. depos. 2018, 12(2):58-62
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Purpose. Between 2007 and 2008, a study was undertaken for the Debswana Diamond Company Botswana (Pty) Ltd., a leading diamond mining company in Botswana. The purpose of the study was to establish if Debswana could benefit from participating in a newly established RSTI (research, science, technology, and innovation) park, the Botswana Innovation Hub. Consequently, literature was perused and benchmarking visits undertaken to a RSTI park and three mining councils in South Africa. The decade old study returned a “do-not-participate” finding for the diamond giant. This paper reports these findings and reviews the current situation to see what has changed since 2007.
Methods. A two-pronged approach was used to investigate the extent to which mining companies were participating in RSTI parks. Firstly, a typology of thirty-three (33) keywords was developed and used to do a bibliographic search for articles on the subject matter in scholarly databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Mendeley, etc. This was done at the beginning of the study in 2007 and in the current review 10 years later. On the second prong, visits were undertaken to a RSTI park, the Tshwane Innovation Hub, and three (03) mining research councils (i.e. Anglo Research Lab, MINTEK, and DebTech) in South Africa in 2007 and 2008.
Findings. A key notable finding, amongst others, was particularly the fact that these heavy equipment, labour intensive industries did not seem to have any interest in RSTI parks. Moreover, no evidence exist that the world situation has changed since 2017.
Originality. The study seems to be first of its kind to have investigated the participation of mining industries in RSTI parks. It thus serves as reference for future investigations of the situation.
Practical implications. The paper shares notes distilled from the captains of the South African mining industry and juxtaposes this experience against the RSTI park philosophy. Furthermore, it seeks to ascertain what has changed ever since as vital lessons to other mining consortia elsewhere.
Keywords: research parks, science parks, technology parks, innovation parks, RSTI, diamond, mining
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