LMI programme > Briefings

Institutional alignment in the knowledge economy: Lessons from Square Kilometre Array telescope

Date posted:


Publication year:


Corporate author/s:

Labour Market Intelligence Partnership (LMIP), Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)

Person/s author/s:

Gastrow, Michael, Petersen, Il-haam,, Kruss, Glenda


briefing or fact sheet



The Labour Market Intelligence Partnership is a collaboration between the Department of Higher Education and Training and a national research consortium, led by the HSRC. It aims to provide analytical insights which support the development of policies and intervention programmes across the education and training, skills, and employment systems. One component of this research programme is focussed on 'interactive capabilities', that is, the capacity to form effective linkages with other organisations in order to support learning and accumulation of new knowledge (Malerba, 2005; von Tunzelmann, 2010). Case studies were undertaken in three sectors, one of which was the astronomy sector, with a focus on the Square Kilometre Array telescope (SKA). More than seventy interviews were conducted with key astronomy stakeholders, including senior scientists and managers within universities, Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges, government departments and agencies, firms, the SKA, and other astronomy organisations. The SKA case study (Gastrow, 2015), which forms the basis for this policy brief, explores the interactive capabilities present within the astronomy sector and the SKA's innovation system, and how this has impacted on the alignment of skills supply and skills demand for the project.

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