Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The proposal will be the preparatory step towards the action to be supported under topic LC-SC3-JA-5-2020. The consortium has to bring together the core relevant European funding agencies and African partners already involved research and innovation cooperation actions.

The fields of activities to be programmed will cover the research and development of new or the adaptation of renewable energy generation technologies to the African environmental, social and economic conditions, of providing affordable access to renewable energy and of improving the innovation cycles.

The objectives will be the development a common strategic joint research and innovation programme on renewable energy technology and to establish its organisational principles that could lead to a Joint Programme. The common strategic joint programme needs to create synergies with existing African-European programmes such as the Africa-EU Energy Partnership, the EU Energy Initiative, the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership.

The estimated duration to achieve these objectives is approximately 12 months.

Providing sustainable and affordable energy to sub-Saharan Africa is critical to the development of a region that accounts for 13% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its energy demand. Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy resources are more than sufficient to meet its demands, but they are unevenly distributed and under-developed (IEA, 2014).

Building local capacities and promoting research, including applied research, are recognized to be essential pillars in the development of sustainable energy in Africa. Africa-EU research cooperation in this area can contribute substantially to further technology take-up in the region. It can also strengthen the market position of involved European institutions through increased knowledge and competitive capacity.

Several initiatives in the past decade have launched support projects aiming to promote research addressing African energy challenges. The participation of African researchers in related calls has however remained limited. African scientists and researchers in general are underrepresented in the international arena: there are only few scientific publications or patent applications related to renewable energy, and limited participation in international conferences. In addition to the limited exposure the international scientific community, limited research capacities both in the sense of human capital and financial resources hinder better representation of African researchers in abovementioned funding schemes.

Following the EU commitments under the Paris Agreement, Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development and Cotonou Agreement, research and innovation cooperation in the field of renewable energy generation technologies between EU and Africa needs to be strengthened and further developed. Coordination of the existing bilateral activities between European and African countries is advisable. The challenge is bringing together the national funding agencies of EU member states and African states interested in developing joint research activities between the two continents to create synergies and to push forward common research and innovation cooperation in the field of renewable energy generations.

The expected impact will be firstly the achievement of the joint commitments necessary to propose and to implement a Joint Programme, secondly the identifications through its strategic joint programme of the essential research and innovation activities needed to reinforce and to boost European and African research cooperation.

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