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1st GLOBELICS pre-Conference for Young Scholars

Workshop Series on Financing of Innovation and Infrastructure for Development

Oct 23, 2018 Download .ics

Accra, Ghana |

The YSI Economics of InnovationEconomic Development and Africa Working Groups, in partnership with Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS), Globelics Alumni, are organizing the 1st GLOBELICS Pre-Conference for Young Scholars entitled ‘Financing of Innovation and Infrastructure for Development’.

The 1st GLOBELICS Pre-Conference will be taking place on 23 October 2018 in Accra, Ghana, i.e. the day before the main GLOBELICS annual conference, and will be held at the conference venue.

The pre-conference aims at bringing together young researchers and senior experts working on issues of financing, innovation and development and to serve as a forum for exchange of research agendas and networking. The pre-conference also aims at building linkages between academic and public policy perspectives on the topic of financing and development. To facilitate this, we encourage both young academic researchers as well as researchers working in relevant public sector organizations to apply (please refer to eligibility criteria below).

Idea: the topic of financing in innovation and development studies remains somewhat neglected despite its importance. In practical terms, external financing in African countries, as well as other developing countries, has been fraught with contradictions. While such financing, in terms of aid and loans, can be important sources of investment, it is often associated with conditionalities that restrict national policy space to pursue innovation-led growth. Scholarship on innovation has been favouring entrepreneurial dynamics and knowledge-creation while neglecting the role of financing aspects but perhaps nowhere the issue of financing (on both micro- and macro-levels) is so apparent and relevant as in the context of developing African economies. While constraints to finance were an integral component of the so-called ‘high development theory,’ with Ragnar Nurkse emphasizing the capital needs faced by developing countries,  rarely has this emphasis found its way into the post-WWII external policy advice, which has dominated policies in most of developing countries worldwide. Despite their critique of ‘high development theory’, Raul Prebisch and Celso Furtado also agreed on the financial constraints and the nature of finance that is accessible to periphery economies as a central feature of underdevelopment. Therefore, reviewing scholarship on financing of innovation and financing of development, and the connection between these two issues, is highly relevant.

Furthermore, in the last decades, an overwhelming consensus emerged on the relevance of urban infrastructure for development – including for transportation, communication, sanitation, and housing.  On one hand, there are many gaps in the debates on how to finance infrastructure in general; on the other hand, the role of the urban land-infrastructure-finance-innovation nexus is still incipient in the academic and policy debate. A number of development strategies based on technopolis, tech parks, cyber cities, smarts cities, airport cities, knowledge cities, and so on, have sparked debate throughout the developing world – including Accra’s Airport City and Cyber City projects, Ecuador’s Ciudad del Conocimiento, Seoul’s Songdo high-tech island, Portugal’s PlanIT Valley, Belo Horizonte’s Aerotropolis aspirations and Bogota’s Calle 26project. In this panorama, there is a policy-related and academic need to explore these relationships in a growing urbanized world, where STI policies have been (re)shaping the cities we live in.   

Format: The pre-conference will consist of three thematic workshops (2.5 hrs each) and a social event in the evening of October 23rd. Participants will be provided reading materials for every workshop ahead of time.

Workshop I: ‘Macroeconomic policies and Financing of Innovation and Development’ by Prof. Augustin Fosu (Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana)

Workshop II: ‘Financing of Infrastructure for Development’ by Prof. Elisa Van Waeyenberge (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Workshop III: ‘Micro-Foundations of Financing, Digital Innovation and Development’ – Prof. Jayati Ghosh (Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University)


Admission and logistics: admission is based on a motivation letter (300 words). Participation in the pre-conference is free of charge, one night of accommodation (October 22nd to 23rd) and meals will be provided to all successful applicants. A limited amount of travel stipends is available to participants coming from certain group of countries (lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income, high-income countries as follows from the most recent classification by the World Bank (2017)) and who will NOT be receiving any travel support from GLOBELICS. Please also note that admission to the pre-conference does not extend towards admission to the main GLOBELICS conference, i.e. pre-conference participants who would like to attend the main conference will need to register for the main conference separately.

Eligibility criteria: for applicants working in academia – no more than 7 years should pass since receiving MA or PhD degree or an equivalent; for applicants working in public sector organizations – no more than 7 years should pass since receiving a university diploma (either BA or MA or PhD or an equivalent).

Submissions: due to highly limited capacity of pre-conference, applicants are encouraged to follow the early-bird deadline 1 July 2018. Final (hard) deadline is 15 July 2018. Applications received after 15 July will not be considered.

Inquiries: please contact the pre-conference organizing team at innovation@youngscholarsinitiative.org