aerial view of the canal and the uOttawa  campus

Open AIR - The Open African Innovation Research Network

The Open AIR Network, funded by SSHRC, IDRC, and Universities Canada, is a unique collaborative network of researchers in more than 20 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere in the world, with a primary goal to uncover new insights about the balance between control and access to knowledge.
Open AIR logo

The Open AIR Network aims to solve a problem at the heart of intellectual property (IP) and innovation policy: how to reconcile tensions between appropriation and access, excluding and sharing, and competing and collaborating. Our research is showing how knowledge-based businesses can capitalize on open collaborative innovation strategies, by answering three overarching questions:

  • How can open collaborative innovation help knowledge-based businesses scale up and seize the new opportunities of a global knowledge economy?
  • Which knowledge governance policies will best ensure that the social and economic benefits of innovation are shared inclusively?
  • How can open collaborative innovation help scale the impacts of next-generation technologies to promote gender equality, youth employment, and other aspects of inclusion?

The Open AIR Network has five thematic research clusters, based on its previous research on knowledge and innovation in Africa: High Technology Hubs; Informal Innovation; Indigenous Entrepreneurship; Innovation Metrics, and Laws and Policies.


The Open AIR Network has a number of collaborators in more than 20 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere in the world. The Canadian hub is led by Prof Jeremy de Beer and Prof Chidi Oguamanam at the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

The Steering Committee is comprised of:



Contact Open AIR – uOttawa Hub

University of Ottawa, Brooks 411
100 Thomas More Private
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5 CANADA

E-mail: [email protected]