How open are African inventors? Open green technologies and patenting activities in Africa
Open green innovation is essential to accelerate decarbonization in Africa. The dearth of empirical evidence on the current trajectory of green innovation in Africa often hinders appropriate green innovation policy design. This study investigates the incidence of collaboration in inventive activities within Africa using the ‘designation of the inventor’ in the online European Patent database. We identify and assess open and closed climate adaptation and mitigation inventions using explorative and network analysis techniques. Our research shows that even though climate change adaptation technologies are more valuable, climate change mitigation technologies are more responsive to open innovation. We also discovered that the number of green inventions is slightly increasing, but there are very few collaborative open green inventions in Africa as many of the inventions are closed. These results accentuate the fragmented national innovation systems in many African countries. The lack of collaboration and the disconnect between universities and firms shows that most African knowledge institutions have not evolved into vibrant sources of firm learning for national economic development.
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