Press Release

Open AIR’s Canada hub has been awarded a prestigious multimillion dollar Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. Professors Jeremy de Beer and Chidi Oguamanam, both from the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa, have been awarded a grant to expand the Open AIR network and to conduct further research.

The SSHRC Partnership Grant is worth approximately $2.5 million over seven years and is meant to support formal partnerships between academic researchers, businesses, community and grassroots organizations, and others in order to advance knowledge and understanding on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic, and cultural significance.

With leading experts at postsecondary institutions in Africa, Open AIR is working to ease the inherent tensions between intellectual property rights and access to knowledge, build connections between Canada and the world’s fastest growing economies, and train new scholars through unique international experiences and perspectives. Together with collaborators across government, civil society, and the private sector in 14 African countries, Open AIR is working to answer two core research questions:  How can open collaborative innovation help businesses scale up and seize the new opportunities of a global knowledge economy?  And which knowledge governance systems will best ensure that the social and economic benefits of innovation are shared across society as a whole?  Answering these questions will facilitate innovation benefitting people in developed and developing countries alike.

Through the highly competitive Partnership Grant process, 24 projects were shortlisted in 2014, of which close to half were selected as recipients.  That Open AIR was selected is an incredible achievement and acknowledges that we are truly at the forefront of research in its field.