Watu Wamae headshot

Research Engagement Manager, Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx)

Dr Wamae (PhD Economics of Innovation) is a Research Engagement Manager at the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), University of Oxford. She is a senior social scientist with practical understanding of network coordination and the role of networks in supporting research, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

With over 20 years of experience in a wide range of research and policymaking environments in Africa and Europe, Watu has substantive expertise in the dynamics of structural change in economies and a rich understanding of the mechanisms through which research is channelled into innovation and decision-making processes. Prior to joining AfOx, Watu worked as senior coordinator at the Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research, University of Cambridge, where she facilitated research collaborations with partners in the South.

At AfOx, Watu drives work on research and innovation networks between Africa and Oxford and is passionate about pursuing a broader purpose for sustainable futures. Her main focus is on Connecting Research to Industry, through networks designed to provide an opportunity to challenge thinking and draw practical complementary perspectives on research, innovation and entrepreneurship on key issues for development. She leads the AfOx Health Innovation Platform, which is aimed at connecting research to industry to solve intractable societal challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. Watu has an insatiable interest in identifying the most suitable strategies for canalising the explosion of creativity and diversity to deliver impact.