Open AIR Releases Major Report on Innovation and Open Collaborative Models to Help Scale Africa’s Knowledge-based Enterprises

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2020

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society is delighted to announce the release of “Scaling Innovation: How Open Collaborative Models Help Scale Africa’s Knowledge-based Enterprises”, a new report by the Open AIR that reviews how African knowledge-based businesses are scaling.

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The report points to the challenges and potential pitfalls that African knowledge-based enterprises face when seeking to scale. Accordingly, the mapping of Open AIR research findings includes examples of innovators’ awareness that pursuit of scale can foster both opportunities and threats—and that scaling must only be approached from a position of awareness of its complexities. The overarching aim of this report is to shed light on those complexities, for the potential benefit of policymakers, researchers, scholars, private-sector entities, and civil society actors—and, most importantly, for the potential benefit of African innovators on the ground.

The Open AIR – the Open African Innovation Research partnership – is a collaborative network of researchers spread across 22 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere in the world. The Open AIR network, active for more than a decade, has hubs at six leading institutions: the University of Cape Town and University of Johannesburg in South Africa, Strathmore University in Kenya, the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, The American University in Cairo, Egypt, and the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Core funding to support Open AIR comes from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). This funding ensures that the Open AIR network can strengthen its position as a sustainable, influential bridge of cooperation between the African continent and Canada—and, in turn, a bridge of cooperation to the rest of the world. With additional co-funding from Queen Elizabeth Scholars, Open AIR is supporting new and emerging scholars to study African innovation through the lens of UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.


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