University-led Inclusive Innovations

This study investigates the role of local research universities in frugal and inclusive innovations for African low-income or resource-poor consumers.  We focus on attention on science-supported or technology-driven innovations where universities take the lead in research-based co-development projects with local communities.

Our first study (2014 - 2015) addressed the state of affairs in the Cape Town region of South Africa, home to several top-level universities that collectively offer a range of activities and facilities devoted to creating innovators and building sustainable innovation capability within the region. This study focuses on an assessment of the general awareness of inclusive innovations at these universities and identifies relevant forms of knowledge brokering and facilities (training courses). The results of this study were published in a CFIA working paper and in the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development.

A follow-up study (2016 - 2017) at CFIA focuses on impact assessment of these inclusive innovation projects within South Africa. Further studies on the African continent are considered.

Project members:

  • Prof. Robert Tijssen, Leiden University, the Netherlands; Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Marjolijn Dijksterhuis, MEA Global, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Dr. Sara Grobbelaar, Stellenbosch University, South Africa