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H2020

RINEA Report Summary

Project ID: 645809
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RINEA (Research and Innovation Support for Europe and Africa)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

RINEA- Research and InnovationNetwork for Europe and Africa (a coordination and support project in the field of research and Innovation. It addresses the STI priorities of the 2014 Summit. RINEA proposes three specific objectives, each addressing a core component of the bi-regional STI partnership which when achieved contributes to the overall goal of reinforcing and enriching the Africa-EU partnership in STI:
1. Strengthening the quality and quantity of partnerships between research and innovation actors in EU Member states, in Associated Countries and in countries in Africa. RINEA will
• Conduct tailored workshop and brokerage events to foster networking between research and busi-ness communities for greater use of research‐based innovation.
• Promote the optimization of framework conditions and the lowering of barriers to research and in-novation partnerships.
• Promote awareness and disseminate information of cooperation opportunities for research and innovation partnerships offered by H2020 and by other major programmes in Europe and Africa.

2. Encouraging transnational coordination of programmes and policies for international cooperation in STI for greater coherence, joint ownership and resource efficiency. RINEA will
• Advance and improve the model established by ERAfrica for jointly-owned EU-Africa funding in-struments for STI cooperation, lower barriers and improve framework conditions.
• Launch and manage calls for proposals around topics of mutual concern and relevance to the EUAfrica bi-regional partnership.

3. Supporting and enriching formal and informal processes of bi-regional STI policy dialogue between the EU and Africa. RINEA will
• Build wider understanding of the objectives and outcomes of formal bi-regional policy dialogue.
• Contribute to the evidence base for policy and decision making, including strategic priority setting, by the recognised governance structures of the EU-Africa STI partnership, e.g. HLPD.
• Support the implementation of outcomes of formal policy dialogue.
• Foster exchange between formal and informal dialogue processes, and with relevant regional and sub-regional structures such as SFIC, AU technical committees and RECs.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

RINEA initiated several workshops and support activities enabling the networking of the research and business community. ’Travel Grants’ for potential new funders and stakeholders were provided in order to attend essential meetings in Africa and Europe.
RINEA was actively involved in the Support and facilitation of the following activities:

RINEA had started discussions for a renewal of ERAfrica (ERA-NET involving African funding partners) in April 2015. It approached coordinators of EC-funded research and policy-support projects and set up a series of coordinators’ meetings (participants: ProIntense Africa, CAAST-Net Plus, PAEPARD). The Meetings aimed at improving the mutual understanding of the projects focus area and were meant to discuss and elucidate potential areas for joint activities by an ERAfrica-like approach. The priority area for future EU-Africa STI cooperation, namely Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA, adopted by the Africa-EU-Summit in 2014), became one area of mutual interest by the coordinators and other stakeholders of the former ERAfrica consortium. When the EC published of a call for proposals for an ERA-NET CoFund addressing FNSSA, ERAfrica Partners decided to follow this activity, which resulted in the establishment of a consortium working towards participation under SFS-41-2016 . One major networking result of RINEA is its contribution to the successful submission of the ERA-NET Cofund LEAP-Agri proposal under the SFS-41-2016 call for proposals.

A ‘Non-traditional Funders Round Table’ with representatives from the private sector (e. g. philanthropic foundations, industry representatives) was held in Brussels in order attract and involve such partners in Joint activities. For the sake of optimizing the framework conditions for STI cooperation, an analysis which closely monitored joint Africa-EU cooperative projects by bibliometry is ongoing. Successful cooperation projects could become potential blueprints for future cooperation initiatives between the two continents.

RINEA set up the Africa-EU-STI Portal / http://africa-eu-sti-portal.org/, which aims at becoming one of the central information provision and dissemination hub for the Africa-EU STI cooperation. The tool serves for awareness-raising and dissemination of information of cooperation opportunities for research and innovation partnerships offered by H2020 and by other major programmes in Europe and Africa. The site hosts the official HLPD documents of the EC/AUC.

RINEA’s activities with regard to analysing and monitoring research and innovation cooperation partnerships contribute to the evidence base for policy and decision making. RINEA worked in partnership with Working Group 2 of the HLPD Bureau on the “Monitoring and Evaluation of the R&I Partnership” of the FNSSA Roadmap Section. This resulted from a decision taken during a HLPD Bureau meeting end of 2015. RINEA and HLPD Bureau members jointly worked on the documents related to this task. This activity provided significant input into the final product, which formed part of the Roadmap on FNSSA which was adopted by the HLPD in May 2016 in Addis Ababa.

Additionally RINEA provided tailor made support to the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau by its work on new thematic priority areas for future STI cooperation. As FNSSA was identified as the first thematic priority for the future STI cooperation between both continents and the Roadmap on FNSSA was developed and currently being implemented, the HLPD Bureau requested RINEA (WP3 in the lead) to draft a first set of input papers which would be discussed in the HLPD Bureau and later on also in the HLPD itself. RINEA developed two “input papers” on Global Change and Global Health for the HLPD-Bureau which were submitted at the HLPD in April 2016 in Addis Ababa for discussion. With this activity the project contributed to the evidence base for policy for future strategic decision making. RINEA WP3 holds the most direct links to and secretariat function for the HLPD Bureau.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The close interaction with the HLPD bureau and the stakeholders involved in the Joint Strategy on STI cooperation between Africa and Europe puts RINEA into a central position between all actors involved. This guarantees a support role for the preparation of the data basis upon which decisions are taken (e. g. the bibliometric analyses, the preparation of scientifc Input papers to the HLPD, the Networking with non-traditional funders in order to attract their interest in joint activities) and the interaction between the countries within the HLPD bureau, as some countries of the HLPD bureau are also represented by other national organisations within RINEA.

The role RINEA ist playing in this interplay of activities provides Input in as far as the project supports the decision making on e. g. the ways and circumstances the current FNSSA priority will be implemented. Its proximity to FNSSA related activities like the ERANet CoFund LEAP-Agri increases the input value, as strategic directions elaborated by RINEA can immediately be communicated and taken up by other consortia or policy makers. Thereby the work of RINEA impacts on the research as well as the societal dimension of the JAES.

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