Meet Our Speaker

Marisa Naidoo

Marisa has been an innovation ecosystem development practitioner for close to a decade and is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. Her work in skills and capacity development with various ecosystem players has helped bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialisation.


As Global Alliance Africa’s Knowledge Transfer Manager for South Africa, Marisa contributes to building new and stronger UK-African innovation partnerships within the ecosystem by maximising the creation of inclusive market access and increasing collaboration opportunities for local innovation ecosystem partners towards shared goals.


Her work with various companies, ecosystem partners and entrepreneurs has helped her to understand the critical skills and knowledge required to sustain a successful path as an entrepreneur in South Africa’s innovation ecosystem.


She is well versed to speak on the following topics:

  • The role of pan-African and UK-Africa partnerships in the continent’s development
  • The part that innovation plays in addressing Africa’s ever-changing societal, environmental and economic challenges
  • Circular economy
  • The water, energy and food nexus
  • Net zero and clean energy
  • Insights on South Africa’s innovation ecosystem and the commercialisation of innovation


About Global Alliance Africa project from Innovate UK KTN


The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Four project-level interventions were piloted in 2021 in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with one of the interventions focused on Open Innovation.


For more information about the project, please visit