Mario Scerri is the Founding Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in African Integration and Innovation and a Senior Research Fellow at IERI within the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and STI Policy in the Faculty of Economics at the Tshwane University of Technology. He is also a Visiting Senior Researcher at the School of Economics and Business Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
He was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology from 2004 to 2007 and before that the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the Technikon North-West (South Africa) from 2001 to 2003. Prior to that, he taught economics at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) for seventeen years.
His research focus is on the evolution of innovation systems, specifically within sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from a political economy perspective. He has also worked on various aspects of the national systems of innovation of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies and on the integration of systems of innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. He has written on the determinants of R&D expenditures in manufacturing industries, on local innovation systems and on the relationship between the state and the national system of innovation in South Africa. He has also written on the teaching of undergraduate economics and of the economics of innovation.
He is the author of The Evolution of the South African System of Innovation since 1916 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). He is the editor of The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates (Johannesburg: MISTRA and Real African Publishers, 2016). He is also the co-editor of three books on the national systems of innovation in the BRICS (New Delhi: Routledge, 2013)and was the co-editor of the book Measuring Innovation in OECD and non-OECD Countries (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2006). . He has published articles in the STI Policy Review, the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, the South African Journal of Economics, the South African Journal of International Affairs and the African Development Review. He is the author of chapters in the following books: The Political Economy of Indian Ocean Maritime Africa (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2015), The Africana World: From Fragmentation to Unity and Renaissance (South Africa: Africa Institute of South Africa), Local Economies and Global Competitiveness (UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Universities in Transition - the Changing Role and Challenges for Academic Institutions (New York: IDRC Publishing & Springer, 2011), The Indian Ocean Rim: Southern Africa and Regional Co-operation., (New York: Routledge-Curzon, 2003) and Putting Africa First: The Making of African Innovation Systems. (Denmark: Aalborg University Press, 2003.