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Fraunhofer IME seeks to strengthen EU-Africa science collaboration

Brussels/Addis: Prof Dr Rainer Fischer, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 18-19 May 2014 to explore opportunities to collaborate with Africa and to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Africa on scientific and technological research and development.

Fraunhofer IME has led or contributed to a number of research projects engaging with Africa, including projects tackling malaria, HIV, rabies and tuberculosis. Most recently, Fraunhofer IME initiated a private public partnership with Sanofi, a multinational pharmaceutical company, to identify new small-molecule drugs against infectious diseases. To expand Fraunhofer IME’s existing engagements with Africa, Prof Fischer met with representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC), the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Over the course of the meetings, the delegates discussed Fraunhofer IME’s capabilities in the areas of sustainable biomaterials, sustainable energy and industry, innovative agriculture, vaccines against diseases of poverty, as well as innovative approaches for the discovery of bioactive small molecules using endogenous bioresources. Fraunhofer IME’s endeavors in Africa will most likely take place within the framework of the Pan-African Programme (PAP). As part of the Instrument for Development Cooperation, the PAP will support the implementation of the Strategic Partnership between Africa and the EU by providing assistance to cross-regional and continental programmes, ensuring that the EU engages with Africa in its entirety. The meetings between Fraunhofer IME and institutions as well as organisations based in Addis demonstrate a commitment to further collaboration with Africa. As Prof Fischer reiterated, “I very much welcome the opportunity to meet with Dr. Abdulhakim Elwaer, the Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission. Fraunhofer IME can make valuable contributions to scientific capacity building in Africa and I look forward to defining this contribution in detail later in 2014. Specifically in the area of vaccine development, Fraunhofer IME has unique technologies which can advance the prevention of communicable diseases in Africa as well as in modern agriculture and bioprospecting.” One of the outcomes of these meetings was the agreement to present cooperation opportunities to the European Parliament’s Committees on Development and Industry, Research and Energy in autumn 2014. Media Inquiries Declan Kirrane ISC Intelligence in Science Email: Tel: +32 2 8888 100 Or Jessica Hadjis ISC Intelligence in Science Email: Phone: +32 2 8888 100 Mob: +32 487 163 107 Editor’s Note Fraunhofer IME The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME conducts research in the field of applied life sciences from a molecular level to entire ecosystems. Our interdisciplinary organization and laboratories with most recent equipment including GMP facilities and complex facilities for environmental simulations allow a wide spectrum of research and development services in the division Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology. Further information: Pan-African Programme In 2011, The European Commission published the “Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation”. Regarding the Pan-African component, the regulation sets out the following: Article 9 (Pan-African Programme) describes the Pan-African Programme that is set up to implement the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). The programme will be complementary and coherent with other financial instruments, notably the ENI, the EDF and the thematic programmes under DCI. While ENI and EDF focus on interventions at the regional or national level in Africa, the Pan-African Programme shall be used to provide specific support for the objectives of the JAES, supporting in particular activities of trans- regional, continental and trans-continental nature, as well as relevant JAES initiatives in the global arena. The Pan-African Programme will work in close cooperation/concertation with other instruments, and will concentrate on specific initiatives agreed in the framework of JAES and its Action Plans for which no alternative source of funding can be mobilised, thus ensuring the necessary coherence and synergy and preventing duplications. Further information:


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom