Among other imperatives, local industrial manufacturing, including SA’s heterogeneous metals and engineering (M&E) sector, needs innovation to spur industrial growth. The public has not often viewed machinery and equipment makers as leading innovators, despite the fact that over the years innovation in indus-trial manufacturing has had an enormous effect on society. Automation has transformed factory floors and made it cheaper and faster to produce everything from cars to televisions. Smarter cutting tools are imminent and new technologies for wind turbines and electrical grids are laying the foundations for a shift to cleaner energy. The recent uptick in agricultural output has been largely supported by innovative equipment and processes, which have made farming more efficient. A growing body of work highlights a strong correlation between innovation and industrial growth at the macro level and also between innovation and firm revenues at the micro level. Many studies report that t...

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