Commissioned by the Central Research Team (CRT) of RIU, this study develops an institutional history of the Research Into Use Nigeria Country Programme. It has sought to focus on the specific mechanisms associated with ‘innovation platforms’ and the function of the country programme as a brokering or intermediary within wider innovation and development landscapes. RIU-Nigeria appears to provide an example of how innovation brokerage can take place outside of pre-established structures (innovation platforms) and workplans that intentionally seek to promote the practice. In this respect, its experiences would question whether ‘function can follow form’, as the early RIU programme planning documents seemed to assume. Rather, the case of RIU-Nigeria illustrates how brokerage occurs under circumstances that are difficult to predict and in institutional spaces that may lie beyond the formal remits of organisations. As a consequence, an innovation broker can rarely be appointed, and may be an individual or organisation with ‘multiple hats’ with demonstrated agility or suppleness to respond to unexpected opportunities.
RIU 2011 Discussion Paper 20, 58 pp.