RIFFS is a regional innovation platform with a wide stakeholder base from higher education, various spheres of government and businesses in the Free State Region. The Forum is a Department of Trade and Industry (DST) initiative with the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) as custodian. The main aim of the Forum is to enhance the socio-economic status of the region by creating platforms for collaboration and engagement across the innovation value chain spanning research, concept, design, prototype, incubation, enterprise development and implementation.
The concept of Regional Innovation Forums (RIF) for South Africa was born out of an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to utilize innovation in addressing the problems of inequality, poverty and unemployment in South Africa. The Regional Innovation Forum for the Free State (RIFFS), only the third of its kind, was established on 9 May 2014.
Various reports on the Free State’s economic situation have pointed to insufficient communication, collaboration and discourse amongst stakeholders as a critical challenge to improving the region’s economic wellbeing. To address these issues and to capitalise on the vast potential for innovation development, RIFFS was established around 5 task teams, that together act as an agents for fostering various aspects of the innovation process.
RIFFS encompasses these task teams as well as a wide range of stakeholders from within higher education, various spheres of government and business from the Free State Region.
The main aim of the Forum is to enhance the socio-economic status of the region by creating platforms for the collaboration and engagement of various contributors to the innovation value chain. The innovation value chain typically spans across research, concept, design, prototyping, incubation, enterprise development and implementation activities.
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