The Office of Digital Advantage (ODA) is the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST’s) implementation, management, analysis and reporting mechanism to ensure the successful execution of its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap (DST ICT RDI Roadmap ) over the course of the next decade.
The vision of the ODA is to leverage the South African National System of Innovation (NSI) through the implementation of the DST ICT RDI Roadmap in order to achieve Digital Advantage for South Africa, where Digital Advantage is defined as a situation in which advances in ICT are used to strengthen economic competitiveness and enable an enhanced quality of life.
The mission of the ODA is to provide guidance and support for the implementation of the Roadmap, in order to:
- Help strengthen the ICT RDI ecosystem in South Africa, through participation by academia, research institutions, business and government departments;
- Facilitate a significant increase in ICT R&D and Innovation investments (from about 0.065% of GDP to the OECD levels of 0.4%); and
- Provide a platform for informed decision-making with respect to strategic areas of focus, and the associated allocation of funding.
The ODA is defined by 5 key activities:
- Roadmap Implementation, Understanding, Prioritisation and Updates;
- Roadmap Investment and Implementation Partnership Development;
- Roadmap Funding Strategy and Implementation Criteria;
- Roadmap Visibility, Communications and Marketing; and
- Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection and Learning on Roadmap Implementation.
The ODA is managed on behalf of DST by the CSIR Strategic Initiatives Implementation business area through an ODA Manager, Analyst and Administrator. The ODA works under the strategic guidance of an external Advisory Committee, and reports to DST on the Key Performance Indicators of the ICT RDI Roadmap.