Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 226

“DG Research and Innovation would like to
make the benefits of co-operation between the
EU and developing countries in research and
innovation more visible within the landscape, for
example within the development aid landscape.
“We are planning several events this year and
we are also planning several information
products, such as a publication on success
stories in FP7, and we plan to present at the
European Development Days in June to really
showcase some of the project results.”
The EU and Africa are equal partners in terms
of science, technology and innovation co-
operation, enhanced by both FP7 and now
Horizon 2020. Furthermore, other projects and
schemes present new opportunities. Both
continents are working together to tackle
common societal challenges in the areas of
health, food security and climate change, and
with the development of new partnership
schemes, EU-Africa co-operation will continue
to intensify.
Bottom-up
Whilst Horizon 2020 is very much focused on bottom-up research co-
operation, Brussels is also encouraging top-down collaboration. As
Buisman explained, the EU has a “very vibrant policy dialogue with the
African Union”.
“In this policy dialogue, it does not only concern the European
Commission and the African Union Commission, but it also concerns all
EU member states and all African countries. It is really embedded in the
Joint Africa-EU Strategy and has been going since 2010.
“We have had two big plenary sessions where all or most of the countries
came together. The last one was in November 2013, where we decided
together that we would want to work in the future, in the next ten years
… towards a new research and innovation partnership in the area of
food and nutrition security and sustainable development.”
Speaking to delegates, Buisman emphasised the importance of a
balanced partnership, co-investment and joint action, highlighting the
development of an “expert working group” to determine “niches” in the
current R&I co-operation environment in order to encourage food and
nutrition security.
“We really believe that there is this need because there are lots of
little initiatives on both sides, or even joint initiatives, which makes
the landscape very fragmented, so indeed there is the need for
better co-ordination.
“From the start, we are therefore getting the different stakeholders
onboard. The main areas, for example, we are looking at now are
sustainable intensification, agriculture and food systems for nutrition and
the expansion and improvement of the agriculture markets and trades
and, of course, all the cross-cutting areas in the area of innovation,
capacity building and research infrastructures.”
Buisman added that the Commission is in discussions with potential
funding partners to build upon the successes of ERAfrica and to ensure
that investments in partnerships come from both Europe and Africa.
Consideration of the involvement of private stakeholders and those from
civil society is also likely.
Year for Development
The European Year for Development sees a number of events take place,
and the Commission hopes to raise awareness of development across
Europe and demonstrate how EU money is being spent in order to bring
benefits to both the recipients and EU citizens.
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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
Joint strategy
Announced and adopted in 2007 by 80 heads of state and
government at the Africa-EU Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, the Joint
Africa-EU Strategy strengthens the Africa-EU Strategic
Partnership and increases co-operation in priority areas for both
the EU and Africa. The strategy outlines a long term vision of the
future of Africa-EU relations in a globalised world and focuses on
moving beyond developmental co-operation, helping to address
global and European issues, developing regional and continental
solutions to African challenges, and helping to strengthen civil
society in both continents.
In realising these priorities, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy includes
the development of eight partnerships, including ‘Science,
information society and space’. The partnership has led to a
number of achievements, including the 2011-2012 African
Research Grants scheme, the Kwame Nkrumah Science Awards,
a specific call for Africa in FP7, and the African Internet
Exchange project.
The 2010 Tripoli Summit called for increased co-operation in the
fields of science and the information society to create a more
inclusive, knowledge-based and globally competitive economy.
© EC/ECHO/Elisabeth Coelho
The European
Commission is
funding efforts to
help detect early
stages of malnutrition
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