Watu Wamae is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), University of Oxford. She holds a PhD Economics of Innovation and has held post-doctoral positions at the Science and Technology Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex and UNU-MERIT, Maastricht.
Watu has a special interest in strategic approaches to innovation networks and how these contribute to acquiring innovation capabilities. A key focus of her research is on networks as the locus of innovation, within the broader context of connecting research to innovation. A specific interest is on understanding how science-oriented research networks in academia connect research to industry. Conversely, the strategic approaches firms use in creating and developing networks for innovation and how this interacts with research networks in academia to acquire capabilities for creating value.
At AfOx, Watu took the lead in setting up the Africa Oxford (AfOx) Innovation platform to support early stage ventures in turning science based solutions into viable businesses to address high priority challenges in Africa. Her focus is on creating opportunities for pre-seed high growth start-ups and massively scalable, seed-stage science and technology ventures through strategic partnerships with African partners. The platform works with outstanding Africa based talent using scientific expertise to tackle challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. The starting point has been science based health solutions addressing prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment including therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and vaccines.
Innovation, networks, start-ups, systems thinking, technological capabilities, global health.