Chidi Oguamanam Awarded University Research Chair in Sustainable Bio-Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Global Knowledge Governance

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce that CLTS Faculty member Dr. Chidi Oguamanam, has been awarded the University of Ottawa Research Chair in Sustainable Bio-Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Global Knowledge Governance. The new Chair aims to advance just societies through the equitable participation of the world’s Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in global knowledge production and in the resulting benefits. 

Dr. Oguamanam will look at global knowledge governance across the multiple but interrelated sites of sustainability, agriculture, food security, environment, biodiversity conservation, climate change, health, medicines, arts, and other epistemic traditions in which the diverse forms of informal knowledge production practices of the world’s IPLCs intersect with formal science and technology-driven innovation. While transformations in science and technology can create new challenges surrounding the appropriation of the knowledge of IPLCs, they also have the capacity to empower Indigenous knowledge custodians to equitably participate and benefit in the emergent global knowledge economy. Professor Oguamanam’s URC research will make an original contribution to repositioning Indigenous knowledge custodians from old forms of knowledge governance to new models that are better suited to the technological advancements of the 21st Century. He seeks an answer to the following question: How can global knowledge governance achieve equity for IPLCs and their knowledge production? 

Dr. Oguamanam is a leading scholar in intellectual propriety and Indigenous knowledge. The exceptional interdisciplinarity of his research has allowed him to pursue complex issues that cut across environmental law, biotechnology, IP rights, food security, health law, and ethics. His work has also been widely recognized for its strong theory-to-practice dimensions. Drawing upon his roots within Indigenous African heritage, Dr. Oguamanam can link the experiences of African cultural communities with their Indigenous counterparts in Canada and globally and bring a deep understanding of the intricacies embedded in questions that examine local, traditional, and Indigenous knowledges in the context of intellectual property, innovation, and knowledge governance. 


Dr. Chidi Oguamanam is a Faculty member at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, and a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa, where he is the co-founder and director of the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR. He is also the Director of Access and Benefit Sharing Canada (ABS Canada) and is affiliated with the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and the Centre for the Environment Law and Global Sustainability. He holds Senior Research Fellowships at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) at McGill University. He is a Senior Research Associate at the IP Law Unit at the University of Cape Town. 


Congratulations to Dr. Oguamanam!

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