This week heralds a significant strengthening of the relationship between Africa’s science and innovation research, policy and investment communities, and the members and coordinating partners of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) with the opening of a new strategic alliance at the University of Pretoria (UoP) in South Africa. This enhances the ties between TIPC’s founding institutions – the University of Sussex Business School, the Joint Research Centre of the Spanish National Research Council and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (INGENIO CSIC-UPV) and the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe) based in the Netherlands.
The official opening of the new Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) forms part of the programme for Africa Week: Open Africa, Open Science, the continent’s key science, technology and innovation (STI) symposium, held from 22 to 26 May, at the University of Pretoria’s recently created Future Africa campus. TIAH will expand and deepen the TIP methodology across its network to engage new audiences and practitioners to utilise key resources and tools such as, TIPC’s Transformative Innovation Policy Resource Lab (TIP RL), TIP Knowledge Community (TIP KC) and the Transformative Investment (TI) method.
Founding TIPC member, the South Africa Department for Science and Innovation (DSI) have been intrinsic in creating their country’s community of practice, the Transformative Innovation Policy South Africa (TIP SA), with strong leadership and collaboration across key actors in the region including the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators at the Human Sciences Research Council, the University of Johannesburg and the National Research Foundation. This will be now be extended across the continent to embed the transformative policy, experimentation, evaluation and outcomes surrounding the Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) approach.
The establishment of TIAH will expand research collaboration, policy impact and investment opportunities between more partners in the region and beyond. TIPC’s ground-breaking innovation method is set to create a host of transformative change agents, operations, investments, and programmes for change across a pivotal network of over twelve African countries, dedicated to experimenting and implementing TIP across sectors and systems to reach towards the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The TIAH network includes science and innovation agencies, universities, and policy institutes from Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The UoP’s Future Africa campus, where TIAH is based, hosts leading scientists and scholars from across the globe and spans a wide range of disciplines to leverage the benefits of transdisciplinary research for addressing the world’s grand challenges. Future Africa seeks “to provide a dynamic living, learning and research environment where a community of scholars and other societal role players will engage to advance excellence in scholarship, dialogue and impact.”
Following the launch, the TIPC TIAH research-policy-action programme will draw investment from a range of international funders from both the private and public spheres to develop green and equitable pathways to sustainability using pioneering social and technological innovations to leverage and activate Africa’s vision, capability and potential as outlined in Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want.
“Open and strategic global partnerships are vital for the transformative science, technology and innovation that Africa needs to achieve Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is why Future Africa is delighted to be hosting the new Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH). This strategic partnership with TIAH and the broader Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) of which it is a part, will help to strengthen the transdisciplinary focus of Future Africa’s work and advance the Platform’s objective to inform and support transformative change in and for Africa.”
Dean of the University of Sussex Business School, where TIPC was founded, Professor Steven McGuire said:
“By broadening and deepening the collaboration between the Business School, TIPC and the Future Africa network, we are fostering significant opportunity for further positive scientific, technological, environmental, and social outcomes across Africa and the World. The University of Sussex, as the leading global institution for development studies, has a rich tradition of co-creation and ground-breaking research across disciplines to enhance economic and social factors, education, skills, investment and, ultimately, sustainable advancement for all. The Business School is delighted to see the opening of a University of Sussex TIPC-TIAH office at the University of Pretoria’s new Future Africa campus, and I greatly welcome the excellent potential for transformative growth and impact that this brings.”
Johan Schot, TIPC and Transformative Investment (TI) creator, Academic Director and Professor of Global History and Sustainability Transitions at the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges said:
“Africa is an excellent demonstration of the different stages of Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) work globally. It shows the evolution of TIP, starting with the Three Frames of Innovation Policy theory, first presented in Pretoria in 2016; the continent demonstrates what it takes to be part of a journey from conceptual thinking through theory to practice to outcome. The launch of the Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) represents the start of a new phase in Innovation for Transformation globally.”
“Africa aspires for the transformation of her systems, societies, and structures, as articulated in the continent’s science, technology and innovation strategy (STISA-2024) and long-term development plan, Agenda 2063. The Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) provides a co-creation space for cutting-edge research, knowledge generation and circulation to support the realisation of STISA-2024, Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.”
With the creation of TIAH, the evolution of TIP and other transformative agents across the region, there is a substantial focus on cutting-edge research and policy engagement to achieve transformative change. Other key partnerships, along with TIAH, being announced at Africa Week 2023 include:
- Feed-Protect-Care Global PhD Collaborative Platform
- The Curtin University Centre for Australia-Africa Relations and development of a new Science Diaspora Diplomacy initiative
- The UP Faculty of Health Science partnership with Numolux
- The Futures Literacy Incubator
- The International Science Council-Future Africa MoU
- The Future Earth African Leadership Centre
- The Knowledge Equity Network