The DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, is hosted at the University of Johannesburg, where it operates as a research centre located in the College of Business and Economics.
Funded by the South African National Research Foundation and the British Council, the programme is an international research collaboration between the University of Johannesburg, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex in the UK. The programme builds on the expertise of three partners to strengthen African scholarship for examining transformative innovation and its policy dimensions, in the context of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and efforts to achieve sustainable development.
The Trilateral Chair started operating in July 2019.
The Trilateral Chair is formed by a dynamic team of national and international researchers that engages in cutting-edge research; builds the capacity of younger scholars to help develop the next generation of African thinkers leading transformative change; and engages with policymakers, key stakeholders and research partners, to influence policy change.
We are open to expressions of interest in the field of Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development regarding:
• Doctoral supervision and funding
• Postdoctoral fellowships
• Visiting graduate students
• Visiting scholars/professors, for short- or long-term visits including during sabbatical periods
• Collaboration on events, projects or research
The Trilateral Chair currently houses a dynamic team of researchers, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and postgraduate students. The programme also hosts visiting academics and researchers, and holds seminars, conferences and workshops, while engaging in cutting-edge research.
The Trilateral Chair supports a cohort of PhD projects based in three universities: the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, Jaramogi Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOUST) in Kenya, and the University of Sussex in the UK. The PhD programme involves intensive capacity building and international so-supervision where possible. The Trilateral Chair’s research programme also engages with the Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) Africa Hub, to bridge research and policy-making by involving students with the narratives, practices and networks of policy experimentation.
The Trilateral Chair conducts research that:
(a) develops and tests new theoretical and policy frameworks to understand transformation, in the context of the 4IR and from an African perspective, by unpacking the social and technological relationships that explain the rate, direction and patterns of (radical) innovation adoption, diffusion and use,
(b) promotes and builds the capacity of younger scholars to help develop the next generation of African thinkers leading transformative change, and
(c) engages with policymakers as key stakeholders and research partners to influence policy change.