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Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR)

The Open AIR research network was first established in 2007 as the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge Project (ACA2K), which had research teams in eight African countries and was managed by the LINK Centre. In 2011, the network was expanded, and re-named the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR), with management hubs in Cape Town, Cairo and Ottawa, and other institutional hubs in Nairobi and Lagos.

Today, Open AIR has researchers spread across 15 African countries and Canada. LINK Centre Director Dr Lucienne Abrahams and Visiting Fellow Dr Chris Armstrong are both participants in the Open AIR project. Open AIR's "two overarching questions", according to its website, are:

  • "How can open collaborative innovation help businesses scale up and seize the new opportunities of a global knowledge economy?"
  • "Which knowledge governance policies will best ensure that the social and economic benefits of innovation are shared inclusively?"

Open AIR tackles these two questions via four research themes, as follows:

  • high technology hubs
  • informal setor innovation
  • indigenous and local entrepreneurs
  • metrics, laws and policies

For more information on the project, see its website or contact Dr Lucienne Abrahams, and Dr Chris Armstrong,