UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Rising star of development economics joins IIPP

22 September 2020

Erika Kraemer-Mbula joins the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) as Visiting Professor of Practice to help lead our work on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and innovation.


IIPP is proud to announce Erika Kraemer-Mbula as a Visiting Professor of Practice. Erika is a Professor of Economics at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She leads the DSI/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development. 

Her work focusses on alternative development paths for African economies. She specialises in the analysis of innovation systems in connection to equitable development and inclusive development and has done pioneering work on informal sector innovation and innovation. 

Erika’s research unit at the University of Johannesburg is formed by a dynamic team of national and international researchers that engages in cutting-edge research; builds the capacity of younger scholars to help develop the next generation of African thinkers leading transformative change; and engages with policymakers, key stakeholders and research partners to influence policy change.

At IIPP, Erika will help lead our work on SDGs and innovation. Questions of how we direct innovation for sustainable development, and the new economic plans, metrics and governance structures we need for these shared challenges, are vital for policymakers worldwide. To harness the full potential of the SDGs as directive principles, governments must take a market-shaping role, signalling opportunities in social, technological, and organisational innovation, supported by long-term patient capital.

IIPP Deputy Director Rainer Kattel says,

I am really happy Erika joins our team as we are increasingly focusing our research and teaching on how innovation and specifically market-shaping policies can help deliver on the promise of SDGs. Erika will help shape our research agenda and build global networks in this pivotal area.

On joining IIPP, Erika says,

I am very excited to join IIPP as Visiting Professor. This appointment provides a fantastic opportunity for fruitful collaborations between IIPP researchers and our new team in South Africa; learning from each other, sharing ideas and pushing forward our collective agenda of creating a more sustainable future.

Learn more about our work in SDGs

Learn more about Erika Kraemer-Mbula