Impact evaluation of Industrial Innovation programme

Project name:
Impact evaluation of Support Programme for Industrial Innovation

Monitoring and evaluation

Public and Social

Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency and the Department of Trade and Industry


South Africa

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Support Programme for Industry Innovation (SPII) was designed to promote and assist technology development in South African industry. It provides grants for projects that develop innovative products and/or processes, specifically up to the pre-production prototype stage. Genesis was contracted to do an evaluation of SPII, to provide insight into the programme’s effectiveness and efficiency, assess its impact and determine how its impact could be strengthened.

The evaluation employed a range of analytical tools, including a probit model. It assessed the probability of success of innovations, used purposeful sampling techniques for qualitative case studies, and analysed MIS data and an online survey, as well as an expanded theory of change for the programme.

Based on the findings from the research, Genesis found that SPII played an important role in the innovation landscape in South Africa. It also has a direct impact on innovation, with potential indirect impact on long-term job creation and increased competitiveness.

The team further found that bridging the gap between the pre-production prototype and commercialisation was the greatest barrier to the success of innovations. This is particularly true in South Africa, where the venture capital market is underdeveloped and investors are often risk averse to extending support beyond pre-production prototype to pre-commercialisation.

Based on the evaluation findings, the team was able to work closely with the DTI and assist with its understanding of whether SPII should be continued and how its impact could be improved. The evaluation recommendations were realised through this iterative and collaborative process, leading to the re-launch of SPII with the expanded mandate to extend support beyond pre-production prototype to pre-commercialisation. 

Genesis won a National Evaluation Plan award for the evaluation. This was awarded on the basis of an evaluation “whose evidence contributed towards improving government performance, or which were assessed to be of good quality and have a potential to be instrumental in improving government performance”.

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