During 2018, Shawn Cunningham was contracted by the research organisation Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) to lead research that would enable a new Chief Directorate for Future Production Technologies at the South African department of trade and industry to develop its strategy and approach. 

The result of the research and consultation was four research or position papers that are currently being discussed by the stakeholders involved in the project.

The first research paper unpacked technological change, technological capability, innovation and innovation systems. The second paper investigated several reports and benchmark studies that assessed South Africas readiness for the 4th industrial revolution and a digital future. The third paper explored how meso organisations can be mapped, classified and be made more visible and relevant to industry. This paper was mainly focused on those meso organisations that can enable South African manufacturers to compete, adapt and change. The final paper was focused on the future of mobility.

At the end of the project a set of recommendations was developed and also submitted to the client. This website will be updated with the links to the research papers once they are ready for public access.