About us

The DSI/NRF 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 within the College of Business and Economics. Prof. Erika Kraemer-Mbula holds the Chair.

Funded by the South African National Research Foundation since 2019, the programme is an international collaboration between the University of Johannesburg, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)  in Kenya and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex in the UK.

The Trilateral Chair conducts research that:

  • 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,
  • promotes and builds the capacity of younger scholars to help develop the next generation of African thinkers leading transformative change, and
  • engages with policymakers as key stakeholders and research partners to influence policy change.

The Chair has a strong and growing teaching and learning programme which supports Masters and PhD students across the three partner sites:

the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, ACTS through Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Kenya, and the University of Sussex in the UK.

The Trilateral Chair houses a dynamic team of researchers, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and postgraduate students. The programme also hosts visiting academics and holds seminars, conferences and workshops.