Launch of Transformative Innovation Policy Africa Hub


11 DECEMBER 2018

Senegal, Ghana and Kenya are set to participate in the new Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) Africa Hub.  Supported by current Consortium member, South African’s National Research Foundation (NRF), they will collaboratively look at ways to strengthen their science, technology and innovation policies in order to advance their paths towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The new Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) Africa Hub officially launches during the Africa Science Forum in Pretoria, South Africa from 12-14 December.

With the TIPC coordinating team, from the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), and the project’s funding partner, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the TIP Africa Hub will begin to explore and expand TIP practise and capabilities across these three countries.

Johan Schot, TIPC Director:

“The development of a TIP African Hub is a big step for the development of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium. Aligning with innovative African perspectives and inputs is crucially important for its narrative, practices and networks.”

With the South African NRF as a mentor, three teams made up of researchers and policymakers from Senegal, Ghana and Kenya will embark on a 15-month exploratory TIP research project, based on the methodology developed by TIPC and used previously across the six current member countries. Following an open call for proposals to join the Hub by SPRU and IDRC, the institutions and agencies chosen to lead the research are: University of Dakar, Senegal; the Kenyan National Commission for Science Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI), and the Ghanaian Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI).

Professor Mamadou Sy, Director of Strategies and Planning of research at the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation said:

“The Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) is an approach to innovation, once applied in the system that can help address the persistent environmental and social challenges in Africa. The integration of Senegal into this project is a great opportunity to finally have an STI policy document that will allow public policies to be based on evidence. It’s a very exciting adventure to participate in the pilot study.”

Chux Daniels, SPRU Research Fellow and lead for the Africa Hub:

“The TIP Africa Exploratory Hub is in line with Africa’s transformation aspirations towards a knowledge economy that is underpinned by innovation, as articulated in continental frameworks such as Agenda 2063 and STI Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024). The TIP Africa Exploratory Hub, as a strategic and timely initiative involving researchers and policymakers from across the continent, contributes to improving our understanding of the ways that STI policies and policymaking in Africa may be further strengthened to improve the prospects of better policy formulation, implementation, evaluation, and governance.”

The first phase of the Africa Hub’s work will include the mapping of the participating countries’ innovation policy ecosystem across the three central framings involved in the TIPC perspective – Frame 1 (Research and Development), Frame 2 (National Systems of Innovation), and Frame 3 (Transformative Change).  Once an analysis of the innovation ecosystem is completed, each country will then choose a policy case study that indicates transformative elements, to draw out further findings and learnings. The case study will facilitate knowledge coproduction between the researchers and policymakers in their country context.

The launch of TIP Africa Hub, 12th December 2018, Africa Science Forum, Pretoria

In the coming year TIPC will organise two training and capacity building sessions for the members of its Africa Hub. The first will be held in South Africa in February, and the second will take place in Senegal in June. Those sessions will provide an opportunity for reflection and mutual learning and will be open to interested researchers and policymakers from other countries involved in the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).

 The TIP Africa Hub is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and will contribute to the activities of the SGCI, as Matthew Wallace, Senior Program Officer at IDRC highlighted:

The Transformative Innovation Policy Africa Hub is an excellent opportunity to build on and inform the work of the Science Granting Councils Initiative. It is a unique means for researchers and policymakers in Senegal, Ghana and Kenya to collaboratively develop new approaches to research and innovation policy, and to showcase these ideas on the world stage through TIPC.”

Sarah Schepers, TIPC Programme Director:

“SPRU is pleased to be collaborating with IDRC to extend the constituency of agencies and researchers exploring the TIP approach. It offers an opportunity for deep learning on TIP at both the national and trans-national levels which is a fundamental aspect of the work of TIPC.”

Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya join Brazil, Panama and China as TIPC associates. Along with South Africa, other TIPC member countries are Sweden, Finland, Norway, Colombia and Mexico.