Innovation System and Development

The projects listed can either be doctoral thesis, projects or research projects. In some cases the projects belong to more than one of the four main profile areas of the research division of TechnoScience Studies.


Business Incubation Systems as an integral development strategy
for industrialization of Uganda
Joshua Mutambi, PhD project funded by Sida

The main objective of the research is to establish the impact of the BI initiatives and to develop the most suitable model of small business incubation that can stimulate Industrialization in Uganda.

Specific objectives are

  • to study experiences in other countries in respect to business incubation and industrialdevelopment and in the context of Government support
  • to determine the factors of business incubators that affect growth and productivity of businesses in Uganda
  • propose an appropriate Ugandan Business Incubator model.


Unlocking the Binding Constraints in Uganda’s Innovation System
Julius Ecuru, PhD project funded by Sida

The main objective of the research project is to establish priorities for interventions within Uganda’s innovation system.

Specific objectives are to

  • map actors in Uganda’s innovation system
  • assess the patterns of interactions with respect to knowledge generation and exchange among the actors
  • model the flow of knowledge and information among the actors
  • identify the binding constraints and opportunities within the innovation system.


Formation of clusters focusing generation of a co-evolution context of university and industry in Cochabamba region, Bolivia
Carlos Acevedo, PhD project

Main objective is to develop knowledge about the cluster shaping process focusing the generation of a co-evolution context between the university and the cluster firms based on the experiences of Cochabamba city, Bolivia.

Specific objectives are to

  • describe the clustering process taken place in the region of Cochabamba, Bolivia
  • determine success factors in the clustering process for the development of a co-evolution context between the university and the cluster firms
  • analyse the impact reached during the clustering process in the framework of co-evolution processes


Aid, Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Tomas Kjellqvist, PhD project

Main objective

Recent critique of development aid by Easterly and Moyo has among other things pointed to how recipients get dependent on aid. This study will use the debate created by these authors as a context to analyse how development paradigms on technology transfer in the energy sector has contributed to shape the situation that the authors are criticizing.

Specific objectives are

  • to analyse how the role of knowledge and knowledge institutions have been treated in development paradigms, with snapshots from the 1960’s, 1970’, 1980’s, 1990’s and the first decade of the 21th century
  • based on this model propose an experimental model for introduction of renewable technologies to reduce poverty
  • to make recommendations for the next era of technology transfers linked to the climate change mitigation and adaptation funding mechanisms.


Solar power to the poor people:
Using innovative clusters to develop business models for technology transfer

Tomas Kjellqvist, project manager, R&D project funded by Sida

This project proposes to improve the productive uses of energy in innovative clusters with solar energy installations adapted to their needs.

The project will draw on previous experience of income generation through almost 75 innovative clusters in South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. These 75 clusters are based on agglomerations of small and medium sized enterprises with a total geographical spread encompassing both urban and rural surroundings. Each cluster consist of a number of firms that are linked in a production chain or operate in the same trade, but cooperate to achieve joint competitiveness.

They involve people in different productive functions throughout the value chains, and we find these people in very different socio-economic situations. Investing in solar technology for clusters would show long-term social and economic effects as the involved individuals of all social strata could increase their incomes over time.

The clusters can provide opportunities to test and improve solar energy technology in real world applications as they represent a wide range of trade areas. Working with clusters means that there are opportunities to replicate solutions and to find advantages of scale. The cluster members have acquired a basic understanding of entrepreneurship and an openness to technological change.

As a result they would be prepared to adopt solar technologies and adapt them to their needs. They have good experiences of participation in capacity building programs. Besides opportunities to try out solar energy technologies the clusters could develop adapted business models to apply for loans to construct experimental sites.

These sites will be an arena to define research for further development of solar technology and for improving mechanisms for technology transfer. In this case, technology transfer and capacity building requires a close collaboration between the cluster entrepreneurs as end-users, solar technology firms as providers of technology, and universities as providers of training, expertise and new knowledge.

Policymakers at national and municipal levels need to be involved to at an early stage to facilitate and give political, and possibly financial, support to the activities. A constellation of these actors is commonly referred to as a “Triple Helix”. The actors are in a continuous dialogue to solve problems and transcend barrierswith joint efforts.

The Triple Helix requires that the respective actors join in to share their own specific knowledge and networks, and are prepared to learn things of use to their own activity area from the others. If such trust is established, the effects of the project are more likely to be sustainable. Each actor could also use his/her network for dissemination of the results, which provides for replication of approaches and solutions in a wider context.


Innovative clusters closing the gap between University and Society in East Africa. A living proof of Mode 2 excellence?
Birgitta Rydhagen, project manager, Lena Trojer, funded by Sida 2010 - 2012.

Universities in East Africa collaborate in innovative cluster initiatives in diverse locations in knowledge production in the context of application. This means that scientific researchers participate in socio-economic development and poverty reduction by developing knowledge in close collaboration with actors in local communities, with business and Government. The umbrella organization PACF (Pan African Competitiveness Forum) provides a supportive structure and facilitates collaboration between cluster groups in different African countries.

The study focuses on two cases where cluster initiatives develop innovative solutions to address changing situations - climate change, increasing global market competition, deteriorating natural resources and an increasing need for diversified income generation among women and men. One case is the Tanzanian Zanzibar cluster for seaweed production. The other case is salt production cluster in lake Katwe, Uganda. Both clusters aim towards increasing product quality and product diversity to increase the income, and at the same time improve social conditions for workers and their families. Many of the participants are women.

The main aim is to study how innovative clusters can foster timely implementation of knowledge products with socioeconomic relevance. Focus is on the research component, since socioeconomic development is part of the strategic policies of universities in Uganda and Tanzania. The project includes focus group discussions and participatory exercises with PACF key persons and cluster members. Research results will be disseminated continuously and through a final report to research participants in the two clusters and to PACF partners. Together with one research partner from Tanzania and Uganda respectively, we will also participate in conferences arranged by Sida and UNESCO.





Annual Report 2013

Academic Thesis 2013

Completion report on Development of Innovation systems and Clusters in Africa

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