MISTRA is delighted to share with you our just-completed working paper titled, Linking Transdisciplinarity Practice to South African Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. It was partly prompted by the Department of Science and Innovation’s White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation which was released in March 2019.

Of particular interest to MISTRA is the fact that the White Paper promotes not only the significance of transdisciplinary approaches to research, but also the realisation that transdisciplinary knowledge is becoming very important. This dovetails with MISTRA’s work.

In 2014 we published a book titled, The Concept and Application of Transdisciplinarity in Intellectual Discourse and Research, which expands on the application of transdisciplinarity in research.   The current working paper explores the historiographical and sociological positioning (networks and organisations) of transdisciplinarity in assessing the supportive role this approach can play. It also interrogates how transdisciplinary approaches can be useful in transforming creative ideas into marketable products. This paper expands upon  two recommendations that are in our 2014 publication, namely, to keep transdisciplinarity central in attempts to address both current socio-political and economic challenges,  and the current fragmentation of knowledge creation. The focus is on the linkages between the various factors identified in the DSI White Paper, namely transdisciplinarity, innovation, citizen science and grassroots innovation. The Working Paper concludes with recommendations for taking the practice of transdisciplinarity forward.