INTRODUCTION TO TIAH
Launched during Africa Week in May 2023, the Transformative Innovation Africa Hub (TIAH) is a leading network of the region’s science, technology and innovation ministries, agencies, funders and organisations dedicated to transformative innovation for sustainable development. Partnered with Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, TIAH’s central premise is science as a public good.
TIAH orientates around the innovation approaches– Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) – and the investment philosophy – Transformative Investment (TI).
Both, these pioneering methods – forged at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at University of Sussex Business School, the Joint Research Centre of the Spanish National Research Council and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (INGENIO CSIC-UPV) in Spain and the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe) based in the Netherlands – are globally groundbreaking and were introduced on the continent by the South Africa Department for Science and Innovation (DSI) in 2017 as part of the global strategic partnership – the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) – created for the enactment and achievement of meeting the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a new African network, TIAH is focused on furthering science, technology and innovation (STI) impact in Africa with exciting new collaborative initiatives and investments. The aim is to utilise STI more effectively in transforming Africa.
To this end, TIAH’s programmes and activities involve transdisciplinary research in STI domains, working with researchers, policymakers, funders, investors, industry, NGOs and civil society. TIAH addresses STI as cross-cutting issues that underpin many of the system transformations that Africa aspires to achieve.
In TAIH’s work, a broad definition of innovation focuses on socio-technical system change, which importantly includes social, grassroots, informal and frugal innovation. It extends beyond just typical technological and business innovations, products and processes which may neglect the social, cultural and community aspect of innovation and transformation.
AIMS & OUTCOMES OF TIAH
TIAH, in close partnership with Future Africa; the global Consortium, TIPC; and other key network actors, strives to build a continent-wide Community of Practice (CoP) that creates and supports Transformative Agents (TAs) for the region.
The CoP, when complete, will consist of hundreds of STI scholars and researchers, policymakers, funders and practitioners, civil society actors, and innovators across Africa who have a vision of transformation.
The TAs are individuals who are knowledgeable in transformative STI (policy) methodology and approaches; and are able to apply TIP and TI principles in achieving the transformation that Africa seeks. It is anticipated that hundreds more TAs and students will be trained across the continent through the membership of further African countries in the Hub.
Alongside individuals, institutional capabilities in transformative STI will be built across the continent.
With the creation of Transformative Agents (TAs) across Africa, there is a focus on cutting-edge research and policy engagements that seek to achieve transformative change.
This is vital to achieving the transformation that Africa aspires to, as outlined in Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want.
In alignment with Future Africa, the mission of TIAH is captured in the transformative change sought, to achieve the impact and change hoped for in the continent and globally.
These areas of impact include transformation through STI, STI policy and Transformative Investments, leading to systems change and resilience, reduced poverty and inequality, improved wellbeing, and inclusive development in Africa.
TOOLS & METHODOLOGIES
TIAH uses the following approaches, methods, tools, capabilities and insights:
– Transformative Innovation Policy Resource Lab (TIP RL)
– Transformative Investment (TI) Philosophy: Principles and Methodology
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© 2023 Transformative Innovation Africa Hub