Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 225

saw nine European and three African countries (South Africa, Kenya
and Egypt) come together to support and promote international
research co-operation.
“They managed to set up a small, jointly funded research programme,”
said Buisman, who then drew attention to the research calls launched
in the areas of ‘renewable energy’, ‘interfacing challenges’ and ‘new
ideas’. “They managed to put together a virtual fund of €11m, from which
these research projects and calls are jointly funded. In the end, 17
projects started last September, and it is the first example, at least within
the context of the EU research programme, where money is not only
coming from the European Commission, money is not only coming from
European countries, but there is co-investment in the research
undertaken by European and African researchers.
“The European Commission looks very favourably on this model of co-
operation. We cannot say very much yet about the impact of the
projects because they have only just started, but we have lots of
interest in this model and we are looking into how we can actually
expand this in the future.”
Buisman added that the countries involved in the project, as well as
others, are exploring the opportunity of a further joint initiative that the
Commission may support.
Horizon 2020
The European Commission representative then turned her attention to
the current EU research and innovation framework programme and the
role it is playing in encouraging deeper and further co-operation between
the EU and Africa in the area of research: “In terms of our co-operation
with developing countries, it is important to note that this is not
development aid – it’s an EU programme to support excellent research,
to work with the best researchers in the world, to tackle our common
challenges together, and also to make our industries more competitive.
“However, as before, this programme is entirely open to participation
by researchers and innovators from all over the world, including from
Africa, so we are very much promoting this programme in the different
African countries.”
The 2014-2015 Work Programme includes specific calls encouraging
co-operation with developing countries, including those in Africa. The
calls mainly focus on the area of health, but they also include food
security and research infrastructures as part of the energy programme.
rests and drew attention to key projects
symbolising this relationship.
“There are three flagships of our co-operation,
where the values of partnership, co-investment
and mutual benefit are really enshrined in
the programmes.
“The Square Kilometre Array sees the EU and
South Africa as strong collaborators in setting
up the largest radio telescope. We also have
the European and Developing Countries
Clinical Trials Partnership programme, now in
the second phase that has just recently started.
There is a real co-investment in the
programme from the side of the European
Commission, but equally the European
countries … 13 countries from Africa are also
participating with their own funding to this
programme, dealing with clinical trials in the
areas of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
“Finally, we have the Group on Earth
Observations, where many European and
African countries are working in the area of
Earth observation.
“These are really large co-operative
programmes where many countries from both
sides are coming together to discuss and look
at common priorities and, in certain cases, also
to co-invest in these programmes.”
ERAfrica
Set up under FP7, the ‘Developing African-
European Joint Collaboration for Science and
Technology’ project, or ERAfrica, aimed ‘to
reduce the fragmentation of the European
Research Area by increasing the co-ordination
between national research programmes across
EU member states and associated countries, in
close co-ordination with national research
programmes in Africa’, according to the
European Commission.
The project received €1.9m of funding from
Brussels and ran from 2010-2014. ERAfrica
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
225
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E & A F R I C A
© European Union
The fourth EU-Africa
Summit took place in
Brussels in April 2014
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