One of the key assignments for my stay at STIAS will be to work out a proposal for the final agenda and format for a Round Table (RT) meeting to be held at STIAS in February 2016 together with Pontus Braunerhjelm. The theme of the RT will be “Innovation for prosperity”, and in the meeting opportunities for promoting innovation to promote societal development for sub-Saharan Africa will be outlined and discussed. There will be approximately 50 participants at the RT, including leading international innovation researchers, business executives as well as leading politicians from Africa. Expected output from the RT will be a set of policy recommendations to enhance innovation capabilities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Another related area of interest to develop during my stay, based on my earlier research is how to develop innovation capability. To create innovation capability includes several challenges – somewhat different in different cultural settings. Basic factors on individual and organizational level are related to encouragement, education, training, trust, leadership, prototyping possibilities etc. Innovation capability for a society is further more about individual driving forces, about organizational and political structures, incubating capacity and policies that support trials. Learning from several studies bring to us that innovation and creation interest should be fostered and stimulated in school, in colleges and within the university and in strong relation to real challenges. We have had engineering students working with innovation challenges for several years with very good results. During my stay at STIAS I will put work in development of an ‘infrastructure for Mutual Innovation Capability Building’ between colleges, universities, societies and businesses.