Traditionally, Euro-African scientific cooperation has involved African partners applying for funding under European programmes. But as science enjoys a resurgence in Africa, new opportunities are emerging for European partners to get involved in African programmes. One example is South Africa. The 'Supporting the EU access to South Africa's research and innovation programmes' (SACCESS) project is funded by the international cooperation priority of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Project members gathered information on South Africa's scientific capacities and programmes, and disseminated this knowledge to European stakeholders. SACCESS also worked towards boosting policy dialogue between the EU and South Africa. Among the project's results were two detailed reports about South Africa's research and innovation landscape. Prior to this research, little had been done to raise awareness about the programmes available in South Africa and even less effort had been made to encourage European researchers to seek out these opportunities. Overall, the SACCESS project’s success has been twofold: it has opened up new opportunities for Europe’s researchers and built on the existing strong collaboration between South Africa and the EU.