Hugo Pinto

Universities are central actors in scientific knowledge production. Public policies are emphasising knowledge transfer through a set of supporting mechanisms to promote innovation. One of these mechanisms is the establishment of innovation intermediaries. This article departs from an extended case study of an academic knowledge transfer office to highlight the institutional change in the Portuguese Triple Helix space, through the process of standardisation, the consolidation of specific professions and vocabularies, and the formalisation of boundary objects. This article departs from the actor-network theory as a research framework to illustrate tensions and contradictions in the institutionalisation of knowledge transfer. Social network analysis is used to map the evolution of the network and different centralities of actors, human and non-human, evidencing the relative importance of knowledge transfer channels. The institutionalisation of knowledge transfer is a continuous, unfinished, and precarious process that deserves attention from policy-makers.

JEL classification: O30, O39, Z13

Hugo Pinto, Will Archer, David Witelson, Rae Regensberg, Stephanie Edwards Baker, Rethabile Mokhachane, Joseph Ralimpe, Nkosinathi Ndaba, Lisedi Mokhantso, Puseletso Lecheko and Sam Challis

Abstract

The rock shelter Mafusing 1 was excavated in 2011 as part of the Matatiele Archaeology and Rock Art or MARA research programme initiated in the same year. This programme endeavours to redress the much-neglected history of this region of South Africa, which until 1994 formed part of the wider ‘Transkei’ apartheid homeland. Derricourt’s 1977 Prehistoric Man in the Ciskei and Transkei constituted the last archaeological survey in this area. However, the coverage for the Matatiele region was limited, and relied largely on van Riet Lowe’s site list of the 1930s. Thus far, the MARA programme has documented more than 200 rock art sites in systematic survey and has excavated two shelters – Mafusing 1 (MAF 1) and Gladstone 1 (forthcoming). Here we present analyses of the excavated material from the MAF 1 site, which illustrates the archaeological component of the wider historical and heritage-related programme focus. Our main findings at MAF 1 to date include a continuous, well stratified cultural sequence dating from the middle Holocene up to 2400 cal. BP. Ages obtained from these deposits are suggestive of hunter-gatherer occupation pulses at MAF 1, with possible abandonment of the site over the course of two millennia in the middle Holocene. After a major roof collapse altered the morphology of the shelter, there was a significant change in the character of occupation at MAF 1, reflected in both the artefact assemblage composition and the construction of a rectilinear structure within the shelter sometime after 2400 cal. BP. The presence of a lithic artefact assemblage from this latter phase of occupation at MAF 1 confirms the continued use of the site by hunter-gatherers, while the presence of pottery and in particular the construction of a putative rectilinear dwelling and associated animal enclosure points to occupation of the shelter by agropastoralists. Rock art evidence shows distinct phases, the latter of which may point to religious practices involving rain-serpents and rainmaking possibly performed, in part, for an African farmer audience. This brings into focus a central aim of the MARA programme: to research the archaeology of contact between hunter-gatherer and agropastoralist groups.