The Fourth Industrial Revolution and National Innovation Systems: Key Concepts and Snapshot of South Africa

Research output: Working paperResearch


In the context of the expanding Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), this working paper identifies opportunities and challenges South Africa faces relating to the emergence and spread of 4IR. Elements of 4IR can involve changes that range from minor adjustments to products’ features to the creation of new sectors and technologies that transform how the economy operates and how people’s daily lives are structured. 4IR is spreading around the world at different paces. This working paper is the first in a series of four. It introduces key concepts related to 4IR, innovation, and national development processes. The discussion highlights how key outcomes include general economic conditions and related environmental and employment factors. The paper also provides an overview of dynamics related to these outcomes and the spread of 4IR within in South Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationJohannesburg
PublisherUniversity of Johannesburg
Number of pages67
ISBN (Electronic)9781776303861
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesSARChI Industrial Development Working Paper Series
NumberWP 2021-8a


  • 4IR
  • Industrial development
  • South Africa

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