Scroll to top
Recognizing Africa’s role in the global knowledge economy.

About ―

OpenAIR is a unique collaborative network of researchers spread across 15 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere in the world answering two overarching questions:

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

To answer these questions, we conduct case studies on high technology hubsinformal sector entrepreneurshipindigenous entrepreneurs, and performance metrics and management practices.

Our Researchers

Our researchers come from many disciplines, including law, economics, management, political science, and public policy. Open AIR is a partnership involving six leading universities—the University of Ottawa in Canada, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, Strathmore University in Kenya, the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. For more information on our researchers, please see our Team page.


Open AIR has been awarded prestigious, multi-million dollar grants to support its work over the next 3-7 years. Our funding comes from the International Development Research Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This funding helps to ensure that the Open AIR network further strengthens its position as a sustainable, influential bridge of cooperation between the African continent, Canada, and the rest of the world.



OpenAIR History

The Open African Innovation Research network (Open AIR) has a brief but rich history. It is the successor to several different research projects and is building on the results.

Right now, our activities position our Africa-focused research in the middle of a growing global network, strengthening cross-regional connections amongst Africa and the rest of the world – especially in Francophone African countries.