Industry and Higher Education – Call for papers Special Issue: Higher education, science and research systems for transformative change in Africa: What roles for innovation policy?

Industry and Higher Education Journal

Call for papers

Special Issue: Higher education, science and research systems for transformative change in Africa: What roles for innovation policy?

Editors: Chux Daniels and Christiane Gebhardt

Across the world, states and city regions are facing huge societal, economic, demographic and environmental challenges, as articulated in the United Nations global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, aimed at transforming our world. The solutions to these challenges require resources and actions on various fronts, including higher education (HE) science and research systems to generate the knowledge, capabilities and skills; governments to coordinate efforts and partnerships at many levels, alongside formulating and implementing innovative public policies. Efforts to address these challenges, therefore, must involve academia, business, government and society in co-creating solutions and sharing effective practices that advance the frontiers of knowledge on collaboration for social and economic progress, inclusive development and transitions towards sustainability. The shifts towards transformations challenge the role of governments to set up appropriate frameworks and governance structures that enable multi-stakeholder interactions in co-creating solutions with new actors and sectors.
Currently, many science and research systems are characterized by a broad, differentiated structure, with research conducted in a variety of public and private institutions. In recent years, major changes in the geopolitical and economic arenas, as well as in societies, are driving the transformation of science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, academia and the research and science infrastructure. At the same time, digital technologies move in a globalized mode and change the industrial landscape through a new division of knowledge production and use. Both streams challenge existing frameworks (legal, policy and governance), institutional settings, respective players and established innovation schemes.
Consequently, innovation policies and policymaking are evolving and adopting greater levels of co-creation, experimental programme design, and a sharper focus on directionality. In addition, the funding of social innovation and changes to university funding to facilitate interdisciplinary and translational education and research are also evolving. Furthermore, new innovation policy paradigms are emerging to ensure that innovation systems address broader societal concerns. The shifts to these new paradigms are juxtaposed with former approaches that emphasized technological development paths and the educational and academic sectors.
Across the African continent, the development discourse is also shifting from STI and innovation policies for ‘catching up’ or ‘leapfrogging’ to innovation and innovation policies for transformative change, and transitions to more inclusive and sustainable development. Various continental policies, strategies and frameworks of the Africa Union speak to the issue of transformation: for example, Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want; STI Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024); and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25). Another important discourse across the African continent is the need for transition – for instance, transition from economies based on the extraction of natural resources to knowledge-based economies that are both sustainable and inclusive. Furthermore, the notion of innovation for competitiveness is also being challenged and expanded to include innovation for inclusive development, over and beyond economics and competitiveness  indicators. In all of these, HE, science and research systems, innovation, and public policies have major roles to play.
In this special issue of Industry and Higher Education, we explore one main question: what roles could innovation (including science and technology) policies play in strengthening HE, science and research systems in order to achieve transformative change in Africa?

Abstract submission
In the first instance, please submit an extended abstract (300 to 500 words). Abstracts should aim to respond to one or more of the following thematic areas:

• HE in Africa: conceptualizations, frameworks and institutional settings
• Science and research systems to support HE and transformative change in Africa
• HE and the development agenda in Africa: actors, stakeholders in co-creating solutions
• Rethinking HE for transformation in Africa: (new) research agenda and policy
• Industry and HE in Africa: linkages, collaborations, and perspectives from practitioners
• Innovation policies for HE: addressing societal challenges in Africa and beyond
• The entrepreneurial university in regional innovation: new path creation and modernization

We encourage papers that address these topics in the African context. However, we are also open to papers that articulate issues from broader contexts beyond Africa with insights that provide opportunities for innovation and learning.

Submission details
Please submit your abstract by 31 December 2019. Authors of accepted abstracts will then be invited to submit a full paper by 31 May 2020. Full papers should be between 5000 and 8000 words.
Please submit abstracts by email to Chux Daniels (*email address protected*) and Christiane Gebhardt (*email address protected*).

Full papers by authors of accepted abstracts should be submitted online at

Please include in your covering letter that the paper is submitted to the ‘Humanities special issue’. Submission guidelines are available at:

All papers will be subject to double blind peer review.

About the editors
Dr Chux Daniels is a Research Fellow in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, UK, and Visiting Fellow, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South
Africa. Chux is leading several research and policy projects on innovation and transformative change, one of which is funded by Canadian IDRC involving 4 African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa). Chux is an expert on Africa. His work involves more than
10 African countries and reveals that the continent needs massive transformations in its higher education sectors, research, and policy systems if it is to move forward, achieve its development aspirations or realize the SDGs.

Dr Christiane Gebhardt is a Lecturer and Associate Researcher at the Max Weber Institute at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Christiane is involved in many federally funded regional and smart city projects that address social innovation and transformation to meet the SDGs. She is a public consultant for the European Commission and for STI policies addressing these issues in many countries. She is a long-standing member of the Triple Helix Association.

About the journal
Industry and Higher Education, published bimonthly by Sage, focuses on the multifaceted and complex relationships between higher education institutions and business and industry. It looks in detail at the processes and enactments of academia–business cooperation as well as examining the significance of that cooperation in wider contexts, such as regional development, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems. While emphasizing the practical aspects of academia–business cooperation, IHE also locates practice in theoretical and research contexts, questioning received opinion and developing our understanding of what constitutes truly effective cooperation.

AAS (African Academy of Sciences) (2018) Africa Beyond 2030. Leveraging knowledge and innovation to secure Sustainable Development goals African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI) (2013). Science, Technology and Innovation Policy-making in Africa: An Assessment of Capacity Needs and Priorities. AOSTI Working Papers No. 2.
African Union Commission (AUC) (2014). Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024. Addis Ababa, AUC.
AUC (2015). Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. A Shared Strategic Framework for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development: First Ten-Year Implementation Plan 2014-2023. Addis Ababa, AUC.
AUC (2016). Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) CESA 2016-2025. Addis Ababa, AUC.
Daniels, C., Ustyuzhantseva, O. and Yao, W. (2017). Innovation for inclusive development, public policy support and triple helix: perspectives from BRICS, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, 9, 5, 513-527

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