Category Archives: Blog Post / News

Better metrics, better policies for knowledge and innovation in Africa

By Nagla Rizk The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) leads the research on metrics, laws and policies within the Open African Innovation Research network (Open AIR).  The objective is to devise alternate metrics for measuring knowledge and innovation that provide a more accurate reflection of Africa’s innovation reality. Through dissemination and engaging with stakeholders, … Continue reading Better metrics, better policies for knowledge and innovation in Africa


IP Implications for Food Security in Africa

Cross-posted from U of S Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre By Uchenna Ugwu  Can you tell me a bit about yourself? I am a PhD student at the University of Ottawa. I received my Masters in Public International Law in England at the University of Leicester. I currently focus on international intellectual property law … Continue reading IP Implications for Food Security in Africa


US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36

Photo credit: Image by Ville Oksanen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Chidi Oguamanam, cross-posted from ABS Canada. After six days of deliberations (June 24-29, 2018) to secure a mature text for the protection of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, delegates left the negotiations with mixed feeling while remaining resolute on the progress made. The mixed … Continue reading US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36


Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu Achieving global food security will require innovation. Processes like plant phenotyping and technologies like digital imaging are examples of innovation that can make a difference. One of the challenges in deploying those technologies is to better understand strategies around open innovation, data science, intellectual property rights, and international law. Open AIR … Continue reading Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward


How DIY Biology can Improve Access to Digital Agricultural Technologies

By Vipal Jain Digital agricultural research is transforming the way crops are developed. New tools can speed up the ability to produce crops with higher yields that require less resources. Crops can be modified to become resistant to heat, cold, drought and disease to help tackle food security. But gaps in policy, research and the … Continue reading How DIY Biology can Improve Access to Digital Agricultural Technologies


Making at AFRICAOSH Summit 2018

By Outlwile Maselwanyane  The first gathering for Africa Open Science & Hardware (AfricaOSH) was hosted by Kumasi Hive innovation hub, Kumasi, Ghana, on April 13-15 2018. AfricaOSH is a diverse, global community working to enhance the sharing of open, scientific technologies in Africa. The summit gathered together makers, practitioners, civil society, academics and researchers from … Continue reading Making at AFRICAOSH Summit 2018


Open AIR Expansion au Maroc

By Sara Yassine  Au cours des six derniers mois, le laboratoire de recherche « Entrepreneuriat et Management des Organisations » (LABO-EMO) et Open AIR ont discuté la possibilité d’une collaboration en matière de recherche et l’organisation de meeting scientifique. Le Laboratoire de Recherche en Entrepreneuriat et Management des Organisations (EMO), est une des principales unités de recherche … Continue reading Open AIR Expansion au Maroc


Maker spaces in developing countries: Sites of innovation despite simultaneous challenges

by Mohamed Hosny In the past few years, there have been several initiatives to help entrepreneurs introduce new creative and innovative products that break from prevalent manufacturing models. This is particularly the case given the growth over the past two decades of industrialization to a global scale for the manufacturing of consumer goods, notably in … Continue reading Maker spaces in developing countries: Sites of innovation despite simultaneous challenges


Les Fablabs en Afrique : une utopie à l’épreuve des réalités locales

By Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou Du 6 au 10 mai 2018, la ville de Dakar accueillait le Festival Afropixel 6 sur la thématique « Utopies non-alignées : Imaginaires numériques ». À cette occasion, j’ai été invité (en compagnie de Daniel Sciboz) à préparer et modérer le débat qui s’est tenu le 08 Mai 2018 au Kër Thiossane sur … Continue reading Les Fablabs en Afrique : une utopie à l’épreuve des réalités locales


DIY Biology in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for Open Science

Authored by: Vipal Jain and Jeremy de Beer Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Biology, also known as biohacking, puts innovation into the hands of the citizens and provides an opportunity for developing countries, particularly African countries, to tap into science and technology. The DIY biology movement is transforming the future of science and technology – it promotes more … Continue reading DIY Biology in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for Open Science


Historic Gathering of Africa’s Open Science Hardware (OSH) Innovators – the AfricaOSH Summit, Kumasi, Ghana

By Chris Armstrong  Open AIR was privileged to be a supporting partner of the inaugural AfricaOSH Summit, held 13-15 April 2018 at the Kumasi Hive innovation hub in Ghana’s second city – and home of the Ashanti people – Kumasi. The global open science hardware (OSH) movement has built significant momentum in recent years, notably … Continue reading Historic Gathering of Africa’s Open Science Hardware (OSH) Innovators – the AfricaOSH Summit, Kumasi, Ghana


WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018

By Chidi Oguamanam For the 35th time in 18years, experts have yet again gathered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva where they are scheduled to remain in deliberation between March 19 and 23, 2018. This meeting of the WIPO expert committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore … Continue reading WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018


Nigerian National Workshop on Research Grant Writing and Administration

By Nan Warner A number of senior members of the Open AIR Network participated in the Nigerian National Workshop on Research Grant Writing and Administration, hosted by Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo Campus, Lagos, on February 13-14, 2018 Nigeria has 40 Federal Universities, 44 State Universities and 74 private Universities, all approved by the Nigeria Universities Commission. This is … Continue reading Nigerian National Workshop on Research Grant Writing and Administration


Open AIR NERGs successfully defend PhD theses

This fall, two Open AIR New and Emerging Researchers Uchenna Ugwu and Sileshi Hirko successfully defended their PhD theses at the University of Ottawa. Food Security and IP in West Africa Uchenna Ugwu’s thesis on leveraging the multilateral patent regime to advance food security, states that social access, as well as economic and physical access, … Continue reading Open AIR NERGs successfully defend PhD theses


Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu In September 2017, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation[i] and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR)[ii], Faculty of Law University of Pretoria gathered together a group of academics and business persons at a conference to discuss “Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development.”[iii] At this conference I had the honour of presenting one of … Continue reading Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward