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Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula



Erika Kraemer-Mbula Initially trained as an Economist, Erika Kraemer-Mbula holds a Masters in Science and Technology Policy (with distinction) by the Science and Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Oxford.  In her work, she has adopted a cross-disciplinary approach to exploring alternative development paths for African countries. She specialises in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy analysis and innovation systems in connection to equitable and sustainable development. Between 2001 and 2011, Kraemer-Mbula was a researcher at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and the Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU), both in Brighton, UK. Between 2012 and 2017 she was a Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology, where she was the acting director in 2014.  Currently she is an Associate Professor Extraordinary at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), University of Stellenbosch;  a Visiting Senior Researcher at the School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, and a researcher at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP).


Between 2013 and 2016, she has received four awards for "Woman Researcher of the Year" and "Senior Researcher of the Year" by the Faculty of Economics and Finance at Tshwane University of Technology.

Erika has undertaken a range of advisory and consultancy assignments with international institutions such as UNESCO, UNIDO, OECD, IDRC, TWAS and the World Bank. Her experience in this area includes the evaluation of strategic innovation-related programmes of international donor organisations, reviewing regional and national STI policies, as well as supporting the implementation of innovation strategies in African countries. She makes regular interventions in international conferences and workshops.

Erika is an active member of several international research networks, such as Globelics (Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems) and Africalics (Globelics' African network). She is an Advisory Committee member of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and an advisory panel member of PASET (Partnership for Applied Science Engineering and Technology). In addition, she sits on the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Partnership Steering Committee, and is Coordinator of Open AIR's Informal Sector Innovation research theme.

She is an editorial board member of the Journal for Economic Policy Reform, the Journal Innovation and Development and the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, and has reviewed articles for many other journals including Research Policy.

Some of her current work involves contributing to the International Panel on Social Progress, which explores innovative solutions to the global challenges of the 21st century; and the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC), aiming to mobilise innovation for addressing a wide range of societal and global challenges.


Selected publications:

Tijssen, R. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2017 forthcoming) 'Research excellence in Africa: policies, perceptions and performance', Science and Public Policy.

Tijssen, R.J.W. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2017 forthcoming) 'Perspectives on research excellence in the Global South: assessment, monitoring and evaluation in developing-country contexts', SciSTIP Report. DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP), Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Armstrong, C. (2017) 'The Maker Movement in Gauteng Province, South Africa', Open AIR Working Paper 6, published 6 June 2017. http://www.openair.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/WP-6-Maker-Movement-in-Gauteng-Province-South-Africa.pdf

Tijssen, R. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2017) 'Research excellence – Beyond the buzzword', University World News, 13 January 2017 Issue No:442 http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20170111062145636

Lorenz, E., Lundvall, B.Å., Kraemer‐Mbula, E. and Rasmussen, P. (2016) 'Work Organisation, Forms of Employee Learning and National Systems of Education and Training', European Journal of Education, 51(2), 154-175.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (eds) (2016), The Informal Economy in Developing Nations: Hidden Engine of Innovation? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2016) 'Introduction', in Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (eds) The Informal Economy in Developing Nations: Hidden Engine of Innovation? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kraemer-Mbula, E (2016) 'Informal manufacturing of home and personal care products in South Africa', in Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (eds) The Informal Economy in Developing Nations: Hidden Engine of Innovation? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Konte, A. (2016) 'Innovation policy and the informal economy: toward a new policy framework', in Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (eds) The Informal Economy in Developing Nations: Hidden Engine of Innovation? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Comins, N. & Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2016) 'Innovation hubs in Southern Africa', in Adesida, O., Karuri-Sebina, G. & Resende-Santos, J. (eds.). Innovation Africa: emerging hubs of entrepreneurship. London: Emerald.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Sehlapelo, D. (2016) 'Measuring the South African National System of Innovation', in Scerri, M. (Ed) The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates, MISTRA and Real African Publishers, pages 255-278

Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2016) 'Informal Innovations and the South African Innovation system;, in Scerri, M. (Ed) The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates, MISTRA and Real African Publishers, pages 303-328.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Scerri, M. (2015) Southern Africa, in UNESCO Science Report 2015. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/sciencetechnology/prospective-studies/unesco-science-report/

Kraemer-Mbula, E., Ndabeni, L. and Maharajh, R. (2015) 'Rural Health Systems in South Africa', in Cassiolato J.E. and Couto Soares M.C. (eds) Health Innovation Systems, Equity and Development , Epapers Serviços Editoriais, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2014) 'University linkage and engagement with knowledge users at the community level', in Mohamedbhai, G., Frempong, G. & Addy, A. (eds.) University research governance & national innovation systems in West & Central Africa. Accra: Association of African Universities.

Rush, H and Kraemer-Mbula, E (2014) 'Cybercrime: a value chain approach', Int. J. of Value Chain Management, 2014, Vol.7, No.2, pp.134 – 152.

Kraemer-Mbula, E and Tau, V. (2014) 'Country Study on Innovation, Intellectual Property and the Informal Economy: Informal Manufacturers of Home and Personal Care Products in South Africa', WIPO wwww.wipo.int

Kraemer-Mbula, E.; Tang, P, and Rush, H. (2013) 'The cybercrime ecosystem: Online innovation in the shadows?', Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 80, Issue 3, March 2013, 541–555.

Kraemer-Mbula, E.; Nair-Bedouelle, S. and Schaaper, M. (2012) 'Southern Africa Region' in Nair-Bedouelle, S; Schaaper, M. and Shabani, J. (2012) Challenges, constraints and State of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy in African Countries, Associated Printers, Botswana.

Kraemer-Mbula, E., Nair-Bedouelle, S, Schaaper, M and Ek, A (2012) 'Eastern Africa Region' in Nair-Bedouelle, S; Schaaper, M. and Shabani, J. (2012) Challenges, constraints and State of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy in African Countries, Associated Printers, Botswana.

Saloojee, I. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2012) 'The Group on Earth Observations' Chapter 4, in OECD (2012), Meeting Global Challenges through Better Governance: International Co-operation in Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD Publishing.

Kraemer-Mbula, E and Pogue, T. (2012) 'ERAWATCH Country Analytical Report for South Africa', European Commission.

Kraemer-Mbula, E and Pogue, T. (2011) 'ERAWATCH Country Analytical Report for South Africa', European Commission.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2011) 'Challenges facing cooperation in science and technology in the next decade', CAAST-Net Bulletin, July 2011.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wamae, W. (Eds) (2010) Innovation and the Development Agenda, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; and IDRC Publishers, Ottawa.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wamae, W. (2010) 'Key Issues for Innovation and Development', in Kraemer-Mbula, Erika and Watu Wamae [editors] Innovation and the Development Agenda, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; pp. 29–37.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wamae, W.(2010) 'Relevance of Innovation Systems to Developing Countries' in Kraemer-Mbula, Erika and Watu Wamae [editors] Innovation and the Development Agenda, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; pp. 39–58.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Wamae, W. (2010) 'Adapting the Innovation Systems Framework to SubSaharan Africa' in Kraemer-Mbula, Erika and Watu Wamae [editors] Innovation and the Development Agenda, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; pp. 65–86.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Maharajh, R. (2010) 'Innovation Strategies in Developing Countries', in Kraemer-Mbula, Erika and Watu Wamae [editors] Innovation and the Development Agenda, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris; pp. 133–147.

Kraemer-Mbula, E (2009) 'The prospects of the aerospace industry in South Africa: the skills gap', in Kraak (Ed), Sectors and Skills: the need for closer alignment, HSRC Press, South Africa.

Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Muchie, M. (2009) 'Innovation Systems for ICT: The Case of Southern African Countries' in Baskaran, A. & M. Muchie (editors) Bridging the Digital Divide: Innovation Systems for ICT in Brazil, China, India, Thailand & Southern Africa, Adonis & Abbey, London.

Lall, S. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2006) Industrial Competitiveness in Africa: Lessons from East Asia, ITDG Publishers, UK.