Europe and Africa agree joint research funding
European and African countries have agreed to fund collaborative research projects in the new year. The announcement of this first joint initiative was made during a visit by EU Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn to Cape Town, South Africa, on 6 November. The visit marked the 15th anniversary of the European Union's first science and technology agreement with South Africa.
The Commission expects to launch the calls in January, with a budget of EUR 11 million. Meanwhile, the African side, which is represented by five countries, is expected to contribute another EUR 4 million. The funding will target various research projects in the following sectors: agriculture, health, climate change and energy. These areas will be grouped under the headings of 'Renewable Energy', 'Interfacing Challenges' and 'Idea driven research'. The Commission said the calls were developed within the framework of the ERA-NET for Africa (ERAFRICA) project, which is valued at EUR 2 million and will last for a period of three years.
'Today's agreement is truly historic,' said Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. 'It is the first time that European and African countries have jointly established a research agenda that will be funded by both sides. This can serve as a model for future cooperation between our two continents and encourage other countries to embrace this new form of partnership.'
The objective of ERAFRICA is to promote the networking of European and African funders of research and innovation, as well as to develop joint project calls.
Under the agreement forged between the two sides, ministries and public institutions from Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey will benefit from the collaborative research efforts.
The Commission said the project calls are scheduled to be published in early 2013. All submissions must be made by mid April 2013, and signatures must be placed on all contracts between December 2013 and May 2014.
The financial commitment agreement will be signed on the margins of the annual EU-Africa Joint Experts Group science cooperation forum meeting.
This latest initiative came after the recent launch of a new bilateral EU-South Africa science cooperation project, ESASTAP Plus, which seeks to advance European and South African science and technological cooperation.
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Category: General policy
Data Source Provider: European Commission
Document Reference: Based on European Commission press release IP/12/1176
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Policies; Scientific Research; Social Aspects