This year the Open AIR network moved into a new phase of research. Following an internal self-evaluation and an independent external evaluation at the midway point of our formal institutions’ partnership, we refocused our research questions based on the results of our initial activities and rescoped emerging priorities for our next three years of work.
We continue to conduct research in our three themes. Underpinning and cutting across these three themes are two additional clusters of research: innovation metrics, and laws and policies. Several new issues have also clearly emerged as priorities for the African continent. While Open AIR has always been interested in inclusive innovation, our ongoing activities are increasingly focused on specific aspects of inclusion. Over the next few years, we will increasingly emphasize Sustainable Development Goal No. 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. Africa’s youth, and especially their prospects for employment through innovation in knowledge-based businesses, is another area of more specific focus for our network. We will ramp up our work on economic integration on the African continent, emphasizing connections between international trade and local innovation.