Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 230

and innovation’. The breakfast meeting focused
on exploring the achievements resulting from
closer EU and African science co-operation and
highlighted successful projects supported by the
European Commission.
CAAST-Net Plus
Following the event, Portal sat down with Dr
Andrew Cherry, co-ordinator of the CAAST-Net
Plus scheme and senior scientific officer at ACU.
CAAST-Net began under the Seventh
Framework Programme (FP7) and received
nearly €4.2m from the European Commission
between 2008 and 2012. The programme has
since been renewed under the title of CAAST-
Net Plus and is receiving fresh funding from FP7
to the value of €4m between 2013 and 2016.
Speaking to Portal, Cherry began by providing
an overview of the core aims of the scheme:
“The programme promotes co-operation
between two continents in science. It includes
a number of strands and therefore uses a
number of different mechanisms to encourage
I
nternational partnerships are a key focus for many
organisations. For the Association of Commonwealth
Universities (ACU), supporting such collaboration has been a
core aim since its establishment over 100 years ago – and
encouraging science, technology and innovation (ST&I) co-
operation between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe is one of its
latest manifestations. The ACU, a UK charity established in 1913,
is the world’s first and oldest international university network and
brings together more than 500 institutions of higher education in
both developing and developed countries.
ACU oversees CAAST-Net Plus (Co-ordination and Advancement of sub-
Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Co-operation Network), which
involves 26 partner organisations from the two continents. The scheme
supports greater and deeper ST&I collaboration whilst encouraging better
research outcomes.
In particular, the programme focuses on addressing societal challenges
facing both Africa and Europe. CAAST-Net Plus also encourages debate
amongst stakeholders in the scientific community on how to increase
and improve bi-regional co-operation processes; such debates contribute
to refining ST&I policy between Europe and Africa.
In January, Portal travelled to Brussels to attend the event ‘EU development
aid: experiences and recommendations from stakeholders driving science
Common innovation?
Dr Andrew Cherry,
of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, explained
to
Portal
that while Horizon 2020’s emphasis on international research
co-operation is to be applauded, multiple obstacles can hamper outcomes
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
230
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
Dr Andrew Cherry
© European Commission DG ECHO
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