DR DIRAN SOUMONNI is a Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy and Management, and Programme Director of the Master of Management in Innovation Studies at the Wits Business School. He obtained his PhD in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where he focused on both innovation studies and energy policy.
Diran Soumonni’s teaching interests include subject matter on innovation systems, the strategic management of energy innovation, techno-preneurship, and philosophical paradigms in scientific research. His primary research interest lies in the area of innovation for sustainability from both a systemic and a firm-level perspective. Some of his previous publications span subject matter on electricity policy, biofuels policy, nanotechnology policy, and comparative national innovation systems. Prior to embarking on his doctoral studies, he worked as a materials engineer in the area of research commercialisation of display and energy-efficient lighting technologies. In that capacity, he was part of a team that expanded the business opportunities of a new technology-based firm (NTBF), which was dependent on an enabling ecosystem for its survival and growth, while simultaneously working closely with large LED and display corporations such as Samsung (South Korea), Sumitomo (Japan), Nichia (Japan), among others, to help solve specific technological challenges along the innovation value chain. Diran holds a master’s degree in materials science and engineering (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) and undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics (Tuskegee University, USA). He is an active member of the Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS) and of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S). He serves on the scientific board of the African Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AFRICALICS), and is also a Steering Committee Member of the International Network on Appropriate Technology (INAT).