Skip to main content

Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation Network

Final Report Summary - CAAST-NET (Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation Network)

Executive Summary:
CAAST-Net was launched at a time of intense attention to a renewed Africa-Europe political relationship, and at a time when a clear global consensus was emerging around the value of scientific and technological research and innovation to addressing global challenges. Science and technology became explicitly embedded for the first time in a Joint Africa-EU Strategy and CAAST-Net took on a role in fostering the bi-regional S&T relationship for mutual benefit.
CAAST-Net’s essential purpose was strengthening the bi-regional relationship through dialogue between the regions on the policies, practices and priorities of and for cooperation. The project’s strategy in addressing this purpose was to mobilise a range of mechanisms which had the common aim of fostering mutual awareness, and building the trust on which individual and regional partnerships are built.
Informal bi-regional discussions formed a centre-piece of CAAST-Net’s strategy. Between 2008 and 2012 CAAST-Net stakeholder dialogues in Kenya, Senegal and Ghana built deeper common understanding on cross-cutting policy issues including the nature of bi-regional cooperation, and the roles of innovation, and of research infrastructures in bi-regional cooperation.
In addition to the dialogues on cross cutting topics, CAAST-Net hosted discussion forums for bi-regional research prioritisation in Senegal on biofuels, renewable energy and rural electrification; in Cameroon on non-communicable diseases and public health; and in Ethiopia on social sciences with the latter two contributing topics to the EU’s FP7 work programmes. CAAST-Net’s participation in a joint INCO-NET prioritisation exercise on food, agriculture & fisheries, and biotechnology led to topics that influenced FP7-KBBE-2012-WP. A third series of discussions focussed on advancing cooperation in support of researchable priorities in Africa’s Regional Economic Communities. In a 2011 meeting on solar energy, parties from EU and SADC raised mutual awareness on regional policies and priorities as a prelude to possible cooperation. A similar process took place with the EAC in 2012 on food security while preliminary discussions with ECCAS and with ECOWAS explored areas of possible common interest for cooperation.
Africa-EU cooperation is advancing but knowledge asymmetries can undermine equitable partnership. CAAST-Net aimed to redress asymmetries through outreach and dissemination of information, and building support for the ideals of Africa-Europe cooperation. Dissemination was built around the CAAST-Net website, an information bulletin and the stakeholder community. CAAST-Net awareness, information and training activities included FP7 infodays held in Cape Verde, Cameroun, Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal, plus a brokerage event in South Africa. Arguably, this type of support is the role of NCP, and to this end CAAST-Net sought to build policy support in Africa for national information services and over the project’s lifetime Africa saw a substantial increase in accredited NCPs. Through 2012 CAAST-Net supported networking visits for African NCP to EU NCP offices offering much valued opportunities for networking and raising of mutual awareness.
The final component of CAAST-Net’s strategy was the analysis of cooperation. Diverse analytical outputs provided base-line data and evidence to support project activities as well as filling perceived knowledge gaps in Africa-EU cooperation. Looking to enhance the impact of the 2010 Coordinated Call for Africa, CAAST-Net undertook an analysis of the projects supported by the call, meeting with coordinators, encouraging the clustering of projects and exploring options for sustaining their S&T activities through programmes beyond FP7. Studies into the STI priorities, and capacities of regional economic communities enriched the project’s regional discussions, while surveys of stakeholder opinions provided deeper insight into some of the fundamental issues to be addressed ahead of more effective cooperation.
Throughout its lifecycle, CAAST-Net operated as one element in a portfolio of complementary initiatives under the EU framework programme each of which played a part in supporting and building the capacity for more and better EU-Africa cooperation partnerships. The project produced an abundance of outputs, yet its greatest achievements were almost certainly the less tangible strengthening of personal relationships, the advancing of mutual understanding and the fostering of bi-regional networks that underpin our cooperation.

Project Context and Objectives:
CAAST-Net was conceived against the background of an emerging global consensus that capacity in science and technology is essential not only to economic competitiveness, but also to sustainable development and poverty reduction. In Africa, a growing number of governments are prioritising S&T as a key sector of their national and regional growth and development programmes. Improving the performance of national S&T through internationalisation of research and development is also a policy objective shared by Europe and Africa and, as a consequence, there is an increasingly important focus on S&T under Africa-Europe cooperation both on national as well regional communities’ level.
The current environment for the development of science and technology cooperation between Europe and Africa is very conducive. After the submission of the original CAAST-Net proposal in 2007 and following the EU’s adoption in 2005 of a New Strategy for Africa, a dedicated Joint Africa-Europe strategy was adopted at the December 2007 Africa-Europe Summit of Heads of Government. Its implementation is on-going on the basis of eight thematic partnerships each steered by a Joint Expert Group. The Joint Africa-Europe Strategy includes a focus on promoting S&T cooperation as part of its 8th partnership on Science, Information Society and Space.
The acknowledged role of science, technology and innovation in economic transformation, sustainable development and poverty alleviation have contributed to a step change in the perception of the potential of S&T on the African continent. Concurrently, significant progress has been achieved by the African Ministerial Council for Science and Technology (AMCOST) to prepare and implement S&T programmes as part of the African Union’s drive towards greater continental cooperation and coordination. Recent years have therefore seen a greater interest in S&T cooperation with Africa, through collaborative R&D programmes such as the Framework Programmes, but also through development cooperation instruments such as the European Development Fund of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (2005).
Responding to this dynamic but complex environment, in which current S&T cooperation initiatives frequently lack coherence with policy objectives and suffer from fragmentation, CAAST-Net activities in the areas of cooperation analysis, policy dialogue, research prioritisation and information dissemination play an essential role in supporting the optimal evolution of the Africa-Europe S&T relationship.

CAAST-Net’s goal is to promote and facilitate an increase in the quality and quantity of Africa-Europe cooperation in science and technology, primarily, although not exclusively focusing on greater use of the EU’s Framework Programme, and aiming for greater synergy between R&D and development cooperation instruments such as the EDF. To achieve this goal, CAAST-Net’s objectives were established to support and inform the existing Africa-Europe S&T policy dialogue and cooperation processes:
1. To optimally support Africa-Europe S&T dialogue and cooperation platforms, raising mutual awareness and understanding, promoting synergies and identifying gaps, seeking the participation of a broad stakeholder constituency including, for example, the Diaspora communities, science academies and research, policy, academic, industrial and business networks, as well as civil society.
2. The identification and prioritisation of researchable areas of mutual interest and benefit to Europe and Africa, with particular focus on the relationship between Europe and regional economic communities in sub-Saharan Africa, especially but not exclusively for inclusion in the thematic priorities of the FP7 Cooperation Specific Programme.
3. To harness Africa-Europe S&T cooperation to address specific problems faced locally and regionally within Africa, as well as to address common problems of a global nature on the basis of mutual interest and benefit.
4. To promote, support and contribute to Africa-Europe cooperation under FP7, building and promoting synergy with other instruments for international S&T research cooperation including bilateral country to country cooperation partnerships.
5. To promote synergy between Africa-Europe S&T partnerships and development cooperation instruments in order to enhance the creation and application of new knowledge in support of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, poverty alleviation and economic growth.
6. To monitor the performance and impact of Africa-Europe S&T cooperation and cooperation policy under FP6 and FP7.

Since its initiation, CAAST-Net has been addressing its objectives through a range of interventions and a summary of progress achieved to date is described below.
CAAST-Net identifies and prioritises common research areas of mutual interest and benefit, especially for inclusion in the thematic priorities of the FP7 Cooperation Programme, harnessing cooperation to address specific problems faced locally and regionally within Africa, as well as common problems of a global nature. The project promotes synergy between Africa-Europe S&T partnerships and development cooperation instruments in order to enhance the creation and application of new knowledge in support of achieving the MDGs, poverty alleviation and economic growth. In support of these activities, CAAST-Net undertakes specific activities dedicated to:
• enhancing the dialogue between European and African stakeholders representing S&T policies, the science and innovation communities from the public and private sector as well as civil society,
• strengthening the participation of African countries in the Framework Programme through a series of events aimed at raising awareness, providing information, brokering partnerships and optimising synergies,
• promoting cooperation aimed at addressing Africa’s local, regional and continental priorities on the basis of mutual interest.
• monitoring the performance and impact of Africa-Europe S&T cooperation under the Framework Programme to provide feedback to interested stakeholders.
This amended CAAST-Net DoW describes a revision and expansion of CAAST-Net in response to activity 7.1 in call FP7-INCO-2010-1 in the 2010 Capacities Part 7 work programme. The call provided an opportunity for CAAST-Net to expand its geographical coverage and deepen the coordination and structuring activities.
The goal of CAAST-Net remains as originally conceived to promote and facilitate an increase in the quality and quantity of Africa-Europe cooperation in science and technology. This amended DoW describes a strategic shift in focus from support for bi-regional (i.e. Africa-Europe) cooperation to support for cooperation between Europe and Africa’s regional economic communities. This shift has been addressed through the revision and expansion of original work packages and their tasks, the addition of new tasks to original work packages, and the addition of a new work package dedicated to networking SICAs arising from the Coordinated Call for Africa (FP7-Africa-2010-1).
This amended DoW adapts CAAST-Net to the evolving relationship between Africa and Europe in S&T cooperation through more coherent positioning within the new policy framework. CAAST-Net will more deliberately target cooperation activities in and around leading S&T institutions in both regions and regional economic communities, in order to contribute to both European and African economic and social development goals as they are expressed in, among others, the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and the African Consolidated Plan of Action.
The original consortium of 18 partners expanded to a consortium of 23 partners in 2010 on the basis of increased strategic added value and complementarities. Recognising that the strength of CAAST-Net lies in its partners, emphasis was placed on broader ownership and participation among consortium partners.

Project Results:
CAAST-Net employed a set of complementary activities in pursuit of its goal of reinforcing the Africa-Europe STI cooperation partnership. Those activities were grouped into work packages. In the following section we present an annotated summary of the main results / foreground of each of CAAST-Net’s eight work packages. Six of the eight WP were responsible for generating results / foreground per se, while two were dedicated to support through activities of coordination and management. As a coordination and support action, CAAST-Net results / foreground are typically the outputs of coordination and support events and desk-based studies, rather than scientific and technological products.

WP1: An observatory for Africa-Europe S&T cooperation activities: Gathering the evidence.
CAAST-Net’s Work Package 1, jointly led by the South African Department for Science and Technology and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, was conceived as a group of complementary desk-based studies to provide base-line data, analyses and evidence around Africa-Europe S&T cooperation, particularly as conducted under EU instruments. The ten tasks in WP1 each examined an aspect of EU-Africa S&T cooperation and generated a series of outputs which, taken together with the outputs of other WP, contributed through three routes to the project’s goal of reinforcing Africa-Europe S&T cooperation:
• Raising awareness among the general public about the status of Africa-EU cooperation;
• Enriching the background knowledge of CAAST-Net consortium partners in order to improve the quality of project events;
• Providing briefing notes to stimulate, inform and enrich debate at CAAST-Net events on bi-regional cooperation.

In many cases, the nature of the actual output different substantially from that anticipated by the DoW reflecting recognition of the realities at the time.
Primary beneficiaries of WP1 outputs are CAAST-Net partners themselves implementing specific activities to promote cooperation; stakeholders participating in CAAST-Net events on policy and research cooperation between Europe and Africa. Going forward, the output of CAAST-Net WP 1 constitutes a significant knowledge resource, which will continue to be of use to the successor project as well as other Africa-EU STI partnership initiatives. The reference documents will be available in the knowledge depository to be established by the successor project. The WP has also had a significant role in empowering CAAST-Net partners with insight and understanding of the intricacies of the evolving Africa-EU STI partnership – knowledge, which will again be taken forward into the successor project.
The results of WP1 are all in the form of reports some of which are available to the general public via the project website, some of which are restricted in distribution to project participants and EC services only. The following section provides a short description of each WP1 output.

Criteria for Africa-EU S&T cooperation (D1.1.1).
This brief report proposes a set of criteria by which to identify research areas where research cooperation between Europe and Africa should be promoted. The identified areas informed the work to formulate specific new African-European cooperation opportunities under FP7. The criteria were used to guide the identification of research topics where enabling conditions for mutually beneficial African-European cooperation are optimal, or where strategic imperatives dictate that these areas should be prioritized for cooperation. Compiled at the start of the project, the document served as bedrock for an understanding of CAAST-Net’s efforts to promote mutually beneficial cooperation, as opposed to the traditional donor-recipient relationship, which in the past had characterised Africa-EU cooperation. An updated version of the criteria was prepared upon the project’s conclusion, taking into account salient developments with regard to priorities and capacities related to Africa-EU STI cooperation, for example ambitious cooperation initiatives initiated by the African Union Commission, rise in R&D investment by African countries and the formulation of a new strategic framework for international S&T cooperation in the EU. This updated set of criteria is a prime example of a knowledge resource which will serve the successor project well.
African science policy objectives and scientific strengths best suited to FP7 cooperation (D1.2.1a).
This study was conducted to inform the work of CAAST-Net in conducting bi-regional research prioritisation workshops to identify topics of mutual interest to be considered for inclusion in the thematic programmes of FP7.
The study suggests that while priorities of the African multilateral program contained in the CPA are not identical to those of FP7, there is some common ground to form a basis for cooperation. The report raised concern that neither the AUC nor the NEPAD Department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) had the funds to support African participation in FP7 and expresses hope that an African Science and Innovation Fund (ASIF) would open up the possibility of such multilateral support. However, significantly inspired by CAAST-Net background work, there has been a number of FP7 cooperation opportunities concertedly designed to support the implementation of African S&T frameworks. The most notable of these was the implementation of the so-called Book of Lighthouse Projects’ priorities, through a dedicated FP7 Africa call, as well the launch of African Research Grants programme targeting priorities identified through consultation with the African Union Commission. If not the CAAST-Net study specific, the project’s general advocacy efforts contributed to the enabling policy environment for these activities.
Input papers to CAAST-Net thematic research prioritisation workshops (D1.2.1b i-iv)

Between 2008 and 2009 CAAST-Net conducted three thematic research prioritisation workshops under WP4. The events in Senegal, Cameroun and Ethiopia dealt with renewable energy and rural electrification, non-communicable diseases, and social sciences. Each aimed to identify a range of topics of mutual interest to be considered for inclusion in the thematic programmes of FP7. A fourth meeting to be held in Benin on transport was planned but cancelled at the last minute due to the failure to secure EC participation. Input papers for all four workshops suggesting possible focal areas for discussion drew on broad comparisons between the articulated priorities of the FP7 programmes and those in Africa’s S&T consolidated Plan of Action (CPA). Whilst these papers specifically interrogated cooperation opportunities under FP7, they do constitute a knowledge resource to be taken forward by the successor project, since they interrogate broader principles and opportunities for Africa-EU cooperation in the thematic areas, often within the context of addressing societal challenges, which will constitute a key component of cooperation under Horizon 2020. The papers contributed to enriched discussion at the organised event and indeed to help shape the outcomes into concrete conclusions.
An inventory of leading African S&T institutions to be compiled as a collaborative venture with TWAS and made available online via CAAST-Net and TWAS websites. (D1.2.2).
Despite intensive efforts the cooperation with TWAS could not be concluded, due to limited resources on both sides, and because of the structure and proprietary considerations of the TWAS resource, which it transpired was not optimally suited for the CAAST-Net priorities. CAAST-Net WP1 accordingly undertook a smaller, focused exercise analysing the record of African FP7 participation, on the premise that institutions’ track records of FP7 success, constitute a valid metric to analyse their potential as partners for European collaborations. This analysis specifically focused to identify institutions with successful past records and growing capacities in the societal challenge themes, which will be a priority for cooperation under Horizon 2020. The analysis focused on identifying individual institutions, i.e. avoiding a mere restatement of available FP7 statistics, often presenting merely country participation rates. It will be a knowledge resource for the successor project, which could be updated through the successor project’s monitoring activities with regard to Africa-EU STI cooperation.
Report of a meeting in Brussels to present opportunities for African participation in ‘People’ and ‘Ideas’ specific programmes (D1.2.3).
In March 2009 WP1 hosted a small workshop at the South African Mission to the EU in Brussels targeting the EC services and European agencies to consider barriers to African participation in FP7 and to recommend ways to improve African participation in the FP7 People initiatives. Presentations on challenges and opportunities for mobility between the EU and Africa were given by DST and EC (Marie Curie) staff. The short report contains a number of general and specific recommendations that were particularly relevant at that point in the FP cycle. Since many of the mobility instruments will be continued under Horizon 2020, this report will constitute a knowledge resource for the successor project, especially since increased researcher mobility is a stated priority for bi-regional cooperation.

Inventories of FP6/7 projects related to Africa-Europe S&T collaboration (D1.3.1).
Informed decision making around EU-Africa cooperation, raising the level of participation, and informing CAAST-Net events requires base-line data on the trends in cooperation across the themes. Such data is available from CORDIS and from the EC services but not necessarily in a readily accessible or digestible format. CAAST-Net gathered the complete set of data on African participation in FP6 and plus equivalent data at the midpoint of FP7 to prepare a series of graphs which were posted on the website for public consultation and to inform CAAST-Net activities.

Analysis of success factors for and barriers to African participation in the FPs (D1.3.2)
In 2009, as part of wider efforts to better understand the characteristics of African participation in the EU’s framework programmes in order to enhance cooperation CAAST-Net invited stakeholder representatives to complete an online questionnaire in order to gather opinion on the nature of barriers and constraints related to six parameters: 1) organisations’ services and infrastructures; 2) political stability and research agenda; 3) funding and regulation; 4) information and awareness; 5) transport and mobility; and 6) experience of international cooperation in science and technology project. Although the survey suffered from a number of structural weaknesses, it provided a snapshot of opinions from researchers and interested stakeholders at what was an early stage of FP7 and served as a contribution to the evidence base that informed subsequent CAAST-Net actions.

Monitoring and evaluation (D1.4.1.)
CAAST-Net’s quality control strategy had three complementary pillars: 1) internal M&E, 2) peer review of deliverables and 3) external advice and evaluation. Early in the project partners identified five areas of activity, reflecting the project’s objectives, against which the project would monitor its own impact: 1) African – European FP7 cooperation, 2) Other African – European S&T cooperation, 3) Intensity of African – European R&D policy dialogue, 4) Impact of S&T on African – European political and economic cooperation, and 5) Synergy between FP cooperation and EU development cooperation with Africa. From 2008 to 2012 partners conducted an objective annual internal assessment against these five areas, defining the indicators, the relevant actions and the impact of those actions. These discussions were based on annual monitoring and evaluation reports prepared by WP1. As with projects of a similar nature, there are difficulties attributing causality between activities and outcomes which mean that demonstration of impact is an imperfect process, reliant on a degree of subjective interpretation of qualitative, anecdotal and qualitative data. Nevertheless these reports stimulated vibrant debate at CAAST-Net annual meetings, and providing impetus for partners’ motivation to ensure a legacy impact of the project. Upon the project’s conclusion a compendium was prepared of the different annual reports, attempting despite the limiting factors mentioned an objective assessment of the project’s impact. This report will be an early knowledge resource for the external advisory structures of the successor project.
Strengthening Science and Technology Policy Dialogue between Africa and Europe: Understanding a busy landscape and leveraging new opportunities (D1.5.1a).
An article with the above title published by du Toit (2009) in the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 249-252) reports on the Africa-EU policy dialogue that accompanies and complements the bi-regional S&T cooperation. Published prior to the emergence of a formal high-level Africa-EU S&T policy dialogue in 2010, the paper reflects on the need for such processes, the pre-requisites and the framework within which it could sit, as well as speculating on the diverse dimensions to bi-regional dialogue. The paper constituted a knowledge resource for the actors involved in initiating and fostering the Africa-EU STI policy dialogue within the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy policy dialogue platforms, by providing for the first time an assessment of the various platforms and processes utilised at the time.
The report was updated at the project’s conclusion (as D1.5.1b) taking into account the formal launch of the inter-governmental Africa-EU STI Policy Dialogue in October 2011. The updated report provides a commentary on salient, relevant developments over the four years since the publication of the original. Furthermore this analysis is used to anticipate the likely evolvement of the policy dialogue and associated processes during the coming years, in the light of the review of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and a range of new cooperation and partnership instruments to be launched, as a result of African Union initiatives and new programmes implemented during the EU 2014-2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework. This report will be an essential knowledge resource for the successor projects’ support to the policy dialogue and indeed a formal presentation of the report was likely at forthcoming Africa-EU STI policy forums.
Horizon scanning: reports on 1) future R&D trends and scenarios; and 2) on policy implications of the identified trends. (D1.6.1a and b).
Due to capacity constraints, which hampered the implementing partners, this task was not undertaken in the comprehensive manner in which it was originally foreseen. Based on information gathered through the continued monitoring of science, technology and innovation developments relevant to Africa-EU cooperation, consistent with the WP1 ‘observatory function’ and informed by the advice of African and European foresight experts consulted, WP1 prepared a report on the various factors, which were likely to impact on Africa-EU S&T cooperation during the coming decades. The report identified and analysed factors such as geopolitical dynamics, responses to and the impact of global challenges, emerging research areas and disruptive technologies, as well as science and technology policy developments, including with regard to levels and focus of research and innovation investment, and human capital development. The report also identified four possible scenarios for future Africa-EU cooperation, which could be shaped by these factors. These scenarios foresee different emphasis on collaboration and competition and presuppose varying interests in cooperation. In summary these scenarios depict a relationship marked by (i) strong mutually beneficial cooperation; (ii) antagonistic competition; (iii) skewed relationship and unfulfilled expectations; (iv) mutual disinterest in partnership. Based on this report WP1 compiled a further report, which analysed the policy implications of the identified trends including recommendations for policy interventions to ensure the relationship evolves on a trajectory, which will enable optimal mutually beneficial cooperation. Again, these reports will constitute a knowledge resource for the successor project as well as the forums and bodies concerned with Africa-EU cooperation.

The Africa-Europe Project Coordination network (D1.7.1).
The diversity of Africa-EU cooperation projects supported by the FP offers scope for learning about the features of such cooperation with a view to enhancing the process, outputs and outcomes. CAAST-Net convened meetings of coordinators of several Africa-EU cooperation projects from the thematic programmes for sharing experiences and for mutual learning.
A web-based tool accessible to facilitate sharing of information between projects (D1.7.2).
Having channels for sharing the learning and experiences of coordination and for coordinating project events arising from coordination of Africa-EU S&T projects was one of a number of aspirations articulated by the members of the Africa-EU project coordination network. In response, CAAST-Net partner PT-DLR from Germany developed a web-based tool, using the Microsoft Sharepoint system, which could be accessible from the CAAST-Net website. While acknowledged as a helpful tool, the workload required to maintain its utility meant that it was not deployed.
Reports on the institutional role and capacity in S&T of SADC, ECOWAS, EAC and ECCAS. (D1.9.1 – 1.9.3).

In view of the anticipated scale of cooperation in the second half of CAAST-Net with Africa’s regional economic communities following top-up, WP1 took on the preparation of reports on the institutional roles of Africa’s RECs to provide background information to partners.
• Report 1 provides summaries of the legal basis for REC engagement in STI activities, the capacity of REC organs dealing with STI, the governance structure for S&T cooperation among REC member states, major S&T initiatives by RECs, and S&T indicators for REC member states.
• Report 2 highlights the role of RECs in Africa’s S&T programmes. The report concludes that a lack of regional S&T policies and institutional S&T frameworks conspire to constrain meaningful S& T cooperation within and between RECs.
• Report 3 looks at the legal basis for RECs’ engagement in international cooperation on S&T and its role in cooperation with the EU, Current or past major institutional international partnerships in which RECs are involved, The current institutional framework for engagement between the RECs and the EU, and the role of the RECs in implementing the 8th Partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
Input papers to inform CAAST-Net cooperation with RECs (D1.10.1 – 1.10.3).
Anticipating a series of research prioritisation and policy dialogues between CAAST-Net and Africa’s RECs to broker REC-EU relations in S&T, CAAST-Net undertook to prepare briefing papers that would present cooperation scenarios for REC-EU cooperation in S&T policy and research. For the engagements that did take place, notably with SADC and EAC, the planned scenario papers were substituted, in agreement with the EC scientific officer, with more directly informative background papers for participants and organisers on the policies and major initiatives in the two continents / regions around the themes of engagement – solar energy in the case of SADC and food security in the case of EAC.
While preliminary engagements took place with both ECCAS and ECOWAS, for reasons that are elaborated elsewhere in this report, substantive REC-EU events on S&T policy and / or joint research prioritisation could not take place with these two RES before project closure.

WP2 - Synergy between development cooperation instruments and S&T partnerships – Supporting S&T capacity-building and fighting poverty.
It was a significant objective of CAAST-Net to examine and then promote greater cooperation and synergy between the EU’s programmes for research and for development cooperation, specifically with a view to leveraging development cooperation instruments to support capacity building efforts such as basic research infrastructure provision which the competitive, excellence-based framework programmes are unable to support. Such a capacity building efforts are essential to foster Africa’s long-term potential to participate in the FP.
The focus of the four WP2 tasks, across its two year life, was to prepare, validate through public consultation, and disseminate two major reports, one on the synergy between the European Development Fund and the Framework Programme, and one on framework programme actions of potential relevance to development cooperation.
The first report substantiated long-held concerns about a serious lack of synergy and coherence between the EU’s programmes for research and for development cooperation. Above all, concludes the report, there is an apparent lack of a forum for interaction and dialogue between the S&T community, on the one hand, and the development community, on the other, with a view to nurturing a mutual understanding of the linkages between S&T and development in Europe and in Africa. Report authors consider that while senior officials in the EU and the AU may possess an appreciation of these linkages, the understanding among implementers and practitioners further down the hierarchy leaves much to be desired. The lack of dialogue and interaction between the two main ‘communities’, in particular at the lower echelons of the relevant institutions, has led to inadequate awareness of the interrelationship between S&T and development and resulted into poor synergy between them.
The second report discusses by way of introduction the challenging relationship between S&T and development as two discrete endeavours, and points to the arduous route from research findings to their application. The divergent outlook and mode of thinking of scientist and development practitioners are highlighted. It goes on to set out the existing Africa–EU cooperation instruments in respect to STI and discusses a number of general synergy options such as policy reconsiderations; new programmes and windows; programme modification or redesign; programme consolidation; and STI financing. Moving towards operational recommendations, the report advances five specific recommendations that need further specification and elaboration into concrete proposals before becoming implementable. The final section is devoted to funding sources and arrangements, without which the recommendations will be of no consequence.
Both reports were presented for discussion and endorsement at a workshop in Uganda during April 2009 to a small audience of senior African and European scientists, policy makers and development practitioners (including project partners). Participants lamented the state of S&T development in Africa regarding the financing, human resource capacity, research facilities, linkage of S&T and development, although varied as Africa is not a homogeneous entity. This state of affairs has hindered Africa’s participation in international cooperation activities including the EU Framework Programmes. The participants endorsed the reports and their recommendations, making a number of additional proposals (listed in the workshop report) that are already common currency of which several are beginning to find expression in emerging policies and programmes.

WP3. Fostering Africa-Europe S&T dialogue among stakeholders – Supporting an appropriate policy framework for S&T cooperation.
CAAST-Net sought to foster and enrich STI policy discussion between Africa and Europe as a route to reinforcing the Africa-EU STI partnership. Dialogue between the regions builds common understanding and so prepares the ground for enhanced cooperation particularly for example in the case of the JAES 8th partnership.
When CAAST-Net was launched in 2008, African and European heads of state and government had recently approved the Joint Africa-EU strategy, embodying a new political relationship between the two continents in response to shifting geopolitical considerations. Science and technology was firmly embedded in the JAES action plans, yet no formal platform had yet come into existence for bi-regional S&T policy dialogue. A putative role for CAAST-Net in preparing the groundwork for a senior officials’ policy dialogue platform was superseded by the legitimate roles of member states and the joint expert group of the JAES eighth partnership. Nevertheless, CAAST-Net contributed to the process through developing a platform concept which was adopted and elaborated by the member state process.
In the absence of a formal S&T PDP at the start of CAAST-Net, partners focused resources on fostering bi-regional discussion on topics of potential relevance to bi-regional S&T policy through a series of stakeholder conferences in Africa. The first conference in Mombasa in 2009 brought together African and European stakeholders representing the scientific and science policy communities to exchange experiences and views on the current state of cooperation in S&T between Europe and Africa, and to develop recommendations which are proposed for consideration and up-take by on-going cooperation dialogues, such as that taking place around the JAES 8th Partnership. The conference conclusions, published in a brochure refer to assuring policy coherence, enforcing implementation of JAES, raising common understanding and joint priority setting, increasing African participation in the EU’s framework programme, coordinating bilateral activities between European and African countries, and using the potential of S&T to implement national development agendas.
A second conference in Senegal in 2012 took innovation as its theme, departing from the premise that despite investment in research cooperation around topics of mutual interest, there are weaknesses in the translation of research outputs into the sorts of novel goods, services, technologies and processes that would target the challenges for which the research was conducted.
As in Mombasa, the conference brought together African and European stakeholders. Although innovation and innovation systems have received much academic attention, most of what we know comes from developed country contexts and consequently there is relatively little theoretical or empirical knowledge of innovation from developing countries. The forum therefore allowed an exchange of views and helped raise the overall level of understanding of the place of innovation in the context of bi-regional cooperation. As a topic of specific bi-regional focus for support to the Africa-EU partnership, the conference was probably the first of its kind. The outputs present a snapshot of the views and opinions of a cross section of interested stakeholders. One clear conclusion is the appetite among stakeholders in both Africa and Europe for further opportunities to discuss the innovation landscape. A broader understanding among stakeholders of the policies, institutions, and actors governing innovation is likely to have a positive impact on the efficacy of the research-innovation continuum.

CAAST-Net’s third stakeholder conference, held jointly with the FP7 project PAERIP (Promoting African - European Research Infrastructure Partnerships, INFRA-2010-3.2) took the role of research infrastructures in bi-regional cooperation as its theme. Once again the purpose of the event was to enrich and strengthen Africa-Europe STI cooperation through providing a forum for exchange of opinions and mutual learning on the role of RI for the cooperation between Africa and Europe. The conference explored a range of issues related to the role of RI and policies in the context of bi-regional cooperation, with a view to enhancing the contributions of R&D to providing solutions to global challenges. As a conclusion, participants endorsed a series of ‘high-level’ recommendations and agreed that they be presented to the principal bodies entrusted with the governance and advancement of the Science, Information Society and Space Partnership of the JAES, ‘respectfully hoping that the conclusions would be duly considered and, as appropriate, encourage initiatives to support bi-regional research infrastructure partnerships’ (CAAST-Net deliverable D3.3.1c).
Africa’s regional economic communities have a central role in the implementation of the continent’s S&T objectives. In this context there is rich ground for fertile collaboration between RECs and EU. With a view to fostering deeper dialogue between parties from Europe and from Africa’s regional economic communities to stimulate cooperation, WP3 together with WP4 and WP5 anticipated a programme of engagements with ECCAS, ECOWAS, SAADC and EAC the purpose of which would be to raise mutual understanding through substantive discussions between EU and REC parties that would lead to cooperation opportunities.
Engagement with each of the four RECs progressed independently between 2009 and 2012, at different rates and along different pathways, such that there was considerable deviation from our anticipated purpose and schedule.

SADC. Through a series of exchanges initiated in late 2009 variously between CAAST-Net partners, representatives of the SADC Secretariat S&T desk, representatives of SADC member states and member state senior S&T officials, an agreement was reached on a SADC-EU symposium on solar and renewable energy.
The September 2011 symposium in Malawi embraced two complementary strands of discussion: On the one hand through exchanges on regional policies, the symposium sought to inform the preparation of a SADC solar energy research programme, and the fostering of an innovation policy environment. On the other hand, the symposium sought to encourage solar energy research and innovation partnerships between SADC and Europe by raising awareness of regional research and innovation landscapes, and of various research and development cooperation programmes or funding instruments.

EAC: The EAC and CAAST-Net began in September 2010 to consult on the possibility of convening an event on promoting a policy dialogue on areas to enhance to EAC-EU cooperation. The consultations culminated in a workshop, aligned with the EAC Food Security Action Plan, on improved technologies for improving production in crops, livestock and fisheries that took place in Arusha, Tanzania from 25th – 26th October 2012.
The symposium was attended by 64 participants of whom 53 were from EAC member states, 3 were from non-EAC countries in Africa, and 8 were from Europe. Among the participants were experts from research organizations, universities and policy experts from ministries responsible for agriculture, livestock and fisheries from the five (5) EAC member states.

ECOWAS: Over the period 2010 to 2012 several preliminary, exploratory and awareness raising meetings were held between CAAST-Net representatives and officials of the ECOWAS secretariat. Most were mediated by the CAAST-Net Africa Region Coordinator and / or representatives of CAAST-Net partner NOTAP in Abuja, Nigeria, because of their proximity to the ECOWAS secretariat offices.
CAAST-Net representatives participated in two significant regional events during the period that provided the opportunity to lay the groundwork for an eventual ECOWAS-EU event: 1) the regional workshop on capacity building in science, technology and innovation policy reviews and science and technology statistics and indicators for West Africa; and 2) the ECOWAS science policy workshop from 26 July to 1 August, 2010 in Ivory Coast.
Guided by the ECOWAS Policy on Science and Technology (ECOPOST) the parties agreed in April 2012 to an ECOWAS-Europe Thematic Policy Dialogue Workshop with the theme of developing West Africa-Europe partnerships in natural health products innovation.
Scheduled for November 8-9, 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria, mobilization of participants began immediately after the Dakar stakeholder conference in April 2012. However, the congestion of events towards the end of 2012, building the required mutual partnership and ownership of the project, getting all the identified experts, stakeholders and participants from ECOWAS and Europe to be available for the workshop at the scheduled period became a critical challenge. The inability to mobilize all the stakeholders eventually stalled the workshop despite all the arrangements on ground and ultimately the end of the project in December 2012 prevented any further progress.

ECCAS: CAAST-Net’s initial enquiries about cooperation with ECCAS began at the time of CAAST-Net’s meeting in Cameroun in 2009, hosted by the MINRESI, on non-communicable diseases. With just a single CAAST-Net consortium partner in the ECCAS region progress on ECCAS dialogue relied heavily on MINRESI and it was not until 2012 that substantive progress was achieved. Through MINRESI’s mediation a preliminary meeting during September 2012 in Libreville, Gabon, between representatives of CAAST-Net and the ECCAS Secretariat was followed by a more substantive exploratory meeting during November 2012 in Yaoundé, Cameroun between representatives of CAAST-Net, the ECCAS secretariat and ECCAS member states. The former concluded with a road map for cooperation while the latter concluded with agreement on a series of mutual commitments for fostering ECCAS-EU cooperation under the CAAST-Net Plus umbrella, recognising that the CAAST-Net project was close to the end. On the part of CAAST-Net the following commitments were made:
• To extend invitations to ECCAS, via the office of the ECCAS Under Secretary General in charge of the Department of Socio-cultural integration, to participate in consultation meetings in the context of advancing bi-regional cooperation in climate change, health and food security.
• To extend invitations to ECCAS, via the office of the ECCAS Under Secretary General in charge of the Department of Socio-cultural integration, to participate in stakeholder conferences in support of the bi-regional S&T policy level dialogue with the regional economic communities .
• Foster dialogue between Europe and Regional Economic Communities on STI policies and innovation capacity building.
• To conduct awareness raising events in Africa (with at least one in an ECCAS member state) and to disseminate information via appropriate communication channels on opportunities for bi-regional cooperation principally but not exclusively under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme,
• To support the extension of NCP networks in the ECCAS region,
• To report on and raise awareness of cooperation activities with ECCAS, and other RECs, (including issues arising such as regional STI priorities and policies) to the governance mechanisms of the eighth partnership of the JAES, to the African Union Commission’s division of Human Resources, Science and Technology and to the European Commission’s directorate for International Cooperation.

WP4: Africa-Europe cooperation platforms – building partnerships for Europe Africa S&T cooperation.
As an additional avenue to supporting and reinforcing the Africa-Europe STI partnership, CAAST-Net undertook a programme of activities aimed at identifying researchable topics of mutual interest to the two regions which could be considered for inclusion in the thematic programmes of the FP7 Cooperation Specific programme (Task 4.1). At an early stage attention was given to running thematic workshops for experts from both regions. These included events in 1) Dakar, Senegal, on rural electrification and renewable energy; 2) in Yaoundé, Cameroun, on non-communicable diseases and public health; and 3) in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, on social sciences and humanities. In each, experts defined areas of common interest and prioritised a list of researchable issues that could be addressed through bi-regional cooperation, particularly but not exclusively via specific international cooperation actions. Both the non-communicable disease and the SSH events ultimately produced topics that were included in subsequent calls for proposals in the health and SSH programmes of FP7 with geographical focus on Africa:
• SSH.2011.4.1-2. Connections between rural areas and cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Collaborative project (small or medium-scale focused research projects) for specific cooperation action dedicated to international cooperation Additional eligibility criteria: targeted ICPC countries from sub-Saharan Africa.
• HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-3: Molecular and physiological effects of lifestyle factors on diabetes/obesity. Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project). Requested EU contribution per project: Maximum EUR 6,000,000.
• HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-4: Genetic and environmental factors in obesity and/or diabetes in specific populations. Specific International Cooperation Action (SICA), Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project) target regions: Mediterranean countries, Africa, Asia Latin-America). Requested EU contribution per project: Maximum EUR 3,000,000.

The participation of representatives of DG RTD’s health and SSH directorates was a significant contributory factor in the inclusion of these topics.
CAAST-Net’s sister INCO-NET projects covering other world regions also had similar objectives around identifying researchable topics for bi-regional research. In 2010, CAAST-Net joined forces with SEA-EU-NET (for South-East Asia) and EULARINET (for Latin America) to convene a meeting (under Task 4.3) between EU and regional experts under the KBBE banner for the identification, analysis, selection and formulation of priority R&D themes cutting across the three regions, focussing on climate change mitigation and adaptation for land management and food security. The 2.5 day expert consultation in Montpellier, France, concluded a multi-regional preparatory process on first stage topic identification and selection in regional consultations with key stakeholders. The Montpellier event resulted in five one-page theme profiles which form an important output from the INCO-Nets in providing the European Commission with inputs for their 2012 work programme and beyond on KBBE. Of the five, three were not taken up and one or two only partially. The topics are said to have arrived at the EC at a time when specific international cooperation actions were in decline.
While on the one hand identifying avenues for promoting Africa-EU research partnerships, CAAST-Net has also conducted a number of activities directed at examining aspects of past and on-going bi-regional cooperation partnerships, particularly under the framework programme with a view to encouraging better cooperation practice. In 2009 (under Task 4.2) CAAST-Net convened a meeting of representatives of project partners from the two regions and invited them to share their experience and knowledge gained in bilateral and multilateral cooperation in order to produce recommendations for promoting more effective EU-Africa cooperation projects based on the lessons learned and examples of good practices. The recommendations emerging from the two days’ of discussion, published in CAAST-Net’s two meeting reports, cover five areas: ethics and ethical leadership; building partnerships; project ownership; dissemination of outputs; and project sustainability.
Under ethics, the meeting agreed that ethical conduct plays a major role in ensuring that S&T progress benefits humanity and urged that ethical conduct be encouraged in S&T cooperation between Europe and African. Participants believed that the development of S&T strategies would only succeed if built on strong ethical foundations.
On partnerships, participants recognised the difficulties of building equitable multi-stakeholder partnerships between the two regions. Challenges, such as the disparities in S&T capacity, need to be addressed sensitively. At the same time, major global challenges can benefit significantly from effective S&T collaboration. The benefits and opportunities arising from participation in bi-regional projects are many; access to networks, new ideas, expertise, markets and target groups. Working in partnership also may facilitate access to and influence on policy and decision makers, as well as offering access to new funding opportunities.
Disseminating the results of S&T collaboration are key factors to ensure a fruitful cooperation, nonetheless, participants noted that dissemination can raise complex issues such as ownership, intellectual property rights and scientific communication.
Encouraging ownership, participants agreed, needs balanced partnerships with all parties equally involved in drawing up the project and benefiting from its results. Dealing with issues of intellectual property rights (IPR) requires clear rules to be established from the beginning of the project. The dissemination of scientific results calls for a strategic plan, together with a collaborative methodology. Consortium agreements can ensure ownership and shared benefits within a project.
Assuring the sustainability of actions after project completion is critical, participants agreed, to optimising impact. While capacity building often focuses on research mobility and scientific training, participants underlined the importance of equally supporting research management, including the skills needed to access research funding and to manage collaborative research projects. Only through access to international cooperation in S&T, participants felt, will African researchers have the chance to play a substantial role in the international scientific arena.
CAAST-Net’s extension, negotiated in 2010, refocused project activities on regional economic communities in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically ECCAS, EAC, SAC and ECOWAS. In the context of partnership support (Task 4.4) CAAST-Net’s aim was, as earlier in the project, to convene meetings of experts on a regional basis in order to identify researchable topics that could be considered for support by research programmes such as FP7, but also by those of EU as well as AU member states. To avoid multiple approaches to the RECs’ overstretched S&T desks, CAAST-Net took a joined-up approach to engagement with EAC, ECOWAS, EAC and ECCAS. The explanation, in the WP3 section above, of CAAST-Net activities with RECs fully describes the joint approach by WPs 3, 4 and 5. It’s worth noting however that, despite the ambition, the level of engagement with the RECs didn’t advance to the stage of identifying specific researchable topics of mutual interest.
WP5: Supporting and strengthening African participation in FP7 – improving information and advisory services.
Reinforcing the overall Africa-Europe STI partnership, particularly by building individual partnerships using EU funding instruments, can be approached from several directions. One of the consistently applied routes is through the traditional instruments for providing information about the research programmes, supporting national contact points, and raising awareness about opportunities for participating. Information days typically raise awareness about the framework programme, often in association with specific thematic FP7 calls for proposals. They can be linked to brokerage activities to foster partnerships or to capacity building exercises to assist in proposal writing for example. CAAST-Net (Task 5.2.4) conducted information days in Cape Verde, Cameroun, Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal, reaching over 220 participants from >19 countries in Africa. Each had a slightly different format although the first three events took a broad approach and shared similar objectives: 1) to present general information about FP7 to enhance the conditions for successful participation of African partners in FP7, and 2) to provide specific information about schemes within FP7 with special interest for African researchers. Thematically the events covered several key FP7 areas each, but without aligning to specific calls (Cape Verde: Health, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnology, Energy, Environment (including Climate Change), and People. Cameroun: Health, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology, Environment (including Climate Change), and People – Marie Curie (Grants for Mobility). Kenya: Health, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology, and Environment (including Climate Change)).
In both Cameroun and Kenya the events were also used to prepare participants for subsequent CAAST-Net meetings; a workshop on non-communicable diseases in the case of the Cameroun info day, and in the case of Kenya the info day prepared participants for a stakeholder conference on bi-regional cooperation.
Info days in Tanzania and Senegal had more specific focus. The former was tailored for EAC food security experts to 1) raise awareness and provide targeted information on the FP7-KBBE-2013 call launched in June 2012, and 2) to enlighten EAC food security experts on science and technology cooperation instruments with the European scientists. Like events in Kenya and Cameroun, the Tanzania event led into a regional CAAST-Net workshop on food security with the EAC. The event in Senegal, like that in Tanzania, raised awareness of the FP7-KBBE-2013 call, but also those open calls in the Environment, Health and SSH themes.
A number of lessons emerged from the series of events, presented in a supplementary project output and reproduced in here in annotated fashion. 1) National contact points can serve as both valuable resources persons and multiplier points; 2) National authorities’ participation and commitment is important in mobilising the participation of national researchers and other stakeholders; 3) There’s value to illustrating cooperation with presentations on locally relevant successful cooperation projects; 4) The impact of an info day is difficult to quantify ( - beyond indicating numbers attending and the level of satisfaction via end-of-event questionnaires. A key indicator would be the increase in FP applications among the group of participants as a result of an event but attribution is problematic. Info days in broad terms represent a contribution to the cumulative learning process of researchers that may culminate in a decision to participate in an FP call); 5) There’s added value in holding info days in conjunction with other project events, (particularly as a means of raising awareness prior to debates on aspects of bi-regional cooperation for instance); 6) The impact of information days can be increased by dissemination of complementary materials, by seeking the participation of information multipliers, and by follow-up with participants post event; 7) Audiences can differ markedly and info days must be tailored accordingly.
In addition to info days, CAAST-Net also ran a brokerage (Task 5.2.4) event at the Rhodes University SANORD conference in South Africa during December 2009. The conference, coming shortly after the release of the FP7-ICT-2009-6 call, was a timely and efficient venue for the event. With the conference organisers suggesting a limited awareness of FP7 among participating researchers, CAAST-Net actually ran a hybrid event combining an information session to acquaint participants with opportunities in FP7 and a brokerage session to foster links and potential partnerships. Animated by project partners and NCPs, with 120 participants on the first day and 30 on the second, the event was considered to have made useful contributions to raising awareness of FP opportunities and fostering links between researchers. The event also specifically provided a platform for researchers to promote their own projects, and to offer guidance to researchers on proposal writing.
CAAST-Net’s planned engagement with ECCAS, EAC, ECOWAS and SADC included the provision of information services in support of bi-regional cooperation, tailored to the particular interests of each region (Task 5.1). As previous sections have indicated, the scope for and pace of exchange between CAAST-Net and each REC was more restricted and protracted than anticipated. As a consequence, no substantive progress was made on design of roadmaps for REC information, training and awareness needs. Nevertheless, in the scope of the conference organised between EAC and EU parties on food security, an info day was organised to raise awareness of the FP7-KBBE-2013 call (see above), while as part of the SADC-EU symposium on solar energy, a session was dedicated to raising awareness of FP7 and cooperation opportunities led by EU NCPs.
NCPs in Europe can play a valuable role in supporting researchers’ participation in EU framework programme actions. Third countries can also appoint NCPs and over the life of FP7 many were appointed in African countries (see Task 5.2.4 below). CAAST-Net played an instrumental role in the appointment of a number of these new African NCPs, including nine from Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon and Uganda, through promoting the potential benefits and offering advice on the application process. The national and thematic NCP networks common in Europe and which can provide valuable support are still uncommon in Africa and so other sources of support are needed to increase NCP added value. It was in this context that CAAST-Net ran three networking visits to European NCP offices in 2012 for 23 of Africa’s NCPs (Task 5.2.3). The visits to Turkey, Sweden and Germany, positively evaluated by the visiting NCPs, led to valuable outcomes through meetings with European NCPs to establish lasting contacts, through learning about EU NCP systems and their application to the African context, and through visiting European research institutes and universities and better understanding the services provided to them by EU NCPs. Equally valuable was the fostering of networks among African NCPs themselves.
In addition to offering networking visits, CAAST-Net anticipated up to four training events (Task 5.2.2) for appointed NCP, one in each of the REC mentioned above and for which a training curriculum was developed (Task 5.2.1) in collaboration with INCONTACT (an FP7 funded network of INCO NCPs) which itself provides NCP training. Given the overlap of NCP training mandate between the two projects, and after discussion throughout 2011, CAAST-Net accepted, in agreement with the EC’s scientific officer, that it would not conduct NCP training.
As part of CAAST-Net’s commitment to Africa’s emerging NCPs, the project produced a report in 2009 on the FP7 information system in Africa, which would include recommendations on the best way to implement an accredited NIP (National Information Point) system in sub-Saharan Africa. The report was intended to serve official authorities directly, assisting them to more effectively initiate the implementation of NIPs in further sub-Saharan countries. At the time, accredited NIP could be found in just five African countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa. A more detailed update, released in early 2013 and being distributed to all African NCP, reports the advances in the intervening period. By the end of 2012, 97 people had been appointed in Africa to 126 NCP positions in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cap Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Senegal, South Africa Uganda, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Attribution of the effect of CAAST-Net activities isn’t readily achieved, except in those cases of NCP appointments where CAAST-Net did play a direct facilitating role. Through a survey of NCP attending the networking visits, the update report also provides a snapshot of the organisation and working arrangements of NCPs in Africa, showing for example that a majority of NCP commit just 20% of their time to NCP activities. Although causality is hard to attribute, the report speculates on the potential link between a rise in NCP numbers and in Africa’s participation in FP7. Finally the report presents a short speculative outlook for third country NCPs under Horizon 2020.
The final component to mention in the suite of information and advisory activities is the contribution to a session organised by the South African government’s Department for Science and Technology at ESOF 2012 entitled ‘A scramble for natural resources or knowledge economy partnerships?’ Dr John Mugabe, former head of S&T at NEPAD and currently at the University of Pretoria was sponsored by CAAST-Net (Task 5.3) to participate and speak at ESOF and so contribute to raising awareness of African S&T issues in a major European forum. Dr Mugabe pointed out that Europe, according to Article 16 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, is obliged to provide access to and transfer of technology. As the areas of technology and knowledge transfer as much as conflict and resource management also contain issues of security political relevance, it would be crucial to foster stronger cooperation and joint working in these fields .

WP6: Knowledge management and outreach.
Led by a partnership between TUBTAK in Turkey and Research Africa in South Africa, CAAST-Net’s WP6 delivered the project’s dissemination and communication strategy and so supported the foreground of work packages 1 to 5 and 8.
All of CAAST-Net’s public foreground is available on the project’s website at www.caast-net.org. That content is due for migration during 2013 to the website of the successor project CAAST-Net Plus (www.caast-net-plus.org) where it will be archived and searchable.
CAAST-Net’s Bulletin provided the project with a bridge to its stakeholders, the latter comprising those who attended CAAST-Net events over the years and those who signed up to receive the Bulletin via the website. Across its 15 issues, the last published in April 2013, the Bulletin showcased many of the project’s most prominent activities to readers across Africa and Europe. Using a concise and digestible format, the Bulletin acted as the first line of our project’s output dissemination strategy. Links in articles provided the interested reader with access to full reports on the website.
While the Bulletin did provide news of forthcoming events, its frequency didn’t lend itself to timely advertisement of events. CAAST-Net Updates served that purpose specifically, distributing detailed information about specific project events to the stakeholders. The Network, produced in 12 issues between 2009 and 2011 published additional succinct news and information of interest to bi-regional cooperation.
CAAST-Net’s outreach was strengthened by successful experimentation with social media, in particularly testing the value of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts to serve our ambition of disseminating not only CAAST-Net outputs and news of forthcoming events, but news and information related to bi-regional STI cooperation

WP8: Strategic support to implementation of the FP7 coordinated call for Africa.
In 2009 the EC launched the FP7 Coordinated Call for Africa (FP7-Africa-2010). As a joint call for proposals between three thematic FP7 programmes; 1) health, 2) food, agriculture, fisheries, biotechnology, and 3) environment, the Coordinated Call represented a direct response on the part of the EC’s research support programme to the science and technology objectives of the eighth partnership (P8) of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), and to Africa’s S&T consolidated plan action. Some 26 projects were funded under the call, a list of which appears in the CAAST-Net call leaflet (Task 8.1) published in 2012 to raise awareness of the projects.
The ultimate translation of research projects’ outputs into new goods and technologies, services policies and processes, and into additional research capacity is essential to addressing the objectives for which the projects were established and thereby realising the value of investment. Conscious of anecdotal evidence suggesting that bi-regional research cooperation more broadly is not achieving its full potential, CAAST-Net offered networking support to the projects under the Africa Call with a view to enhancing their potential impact. Networking aimed to encourage cooperation between similarly themed projects under the Africa Call, or with other FP7 similar projects, or those funded by the ACP Science and Technology Programme (www.acp-st.eu) or the African Research Grant Programme (http://auc.au.int/~au/en/dp/hrst/rgp) and to raise awareness of policy and decision makers of the potential of the Coordinated Call projects.
In a first stage CAAST-Net examined the projects and their alignment with call topics and P8 priorities, their geographic focus areas, research themes, and the partners involved in the Africa Call projects (Task 8.1) presenting a range of statistics: The report considers the potential impact of the collective outputs on P8 objectives and the priority topics in the Book of Lighthouse Projects’. The report also proposes a plan for networking the Africa Call projects to guide their collaboration and cooperation that is based on potential synergies between projects around their activity type, their thematic focus, their partners and their geographic targets. The report for example groups seven projects with a training focus or component; 16 which are testing or developing new methodologies, and a further seven that are building research capacity. None of the three groups are mutually exclusive.
CAAST-Net’s networking plan identifies possibilities for cooperation based on the analysis of projects and synergies. The plan draws on recommendations from CAAST-Net meetings with coordinators of the Africa Call projects. The plan proposes various project clusters based on theme and covers possible areas within which to cooperate including (1) malaria & vector borne diseases, (2) water supply, treatment, & sanitation, and (3) professional & research training. The report recognises the cooperation already established between four Africa Call projects around a water theme: EAU4Food, AFROMAISON, WAHARA, and DEWFORA.
Collaboration and clustering between the projects is not enough for optimal impact on objectives. For most of the projects, FP7 funding under the Africa Call will end after 3-4 years, thus the sustainability of their research, utilization of their outputs, and continuation of their partnership is uncertain. The second part of CAAST-Net’s support package to the Africa Call projects was a study of potential funding streams (Task 8.2) for sustaining them beyond the duration of FP7 support, the initial results of which were presented to participants at the Dakar 2012 networking meeting. The report serves as an overview of the landscape of related funding and implementing agencies and programmes related to the Africa Call projects. While not exhaustive, the report is a starting point for pursuing long-term collaboration and for exploiting synergies with agencies, institutions, and programmes related to the projects and clusters. The funding programmes highlighted fall into four different categories: national programmes, development cooperation instruments, programmes from multilateral organisations, and programmes from non-governmental foundations.
Coordinators and partners of some of the Africa Call projects, CLARA, WHaTeR, Waterbiotech, MUTHI, and AFROMAISON, met at a one-day workshop (Task 8.2) during the 2nd CAAST-Net stakeholder conference in Dakar, Senegal of April 2012, with the aims of increasing understanding of the projects, improving the uptake and translation of outputs, and building synergies.
Participants foresaw a number of barriers to greater cooperation between the Africa Call projects, such as limited budget and the challenges of meaningful cooperation across topics, but several opportunities for cooperation were identified; building synergies and cooperation with other relevant initiatives such as projects under the African Research Grant programme, the EU Water Platform, the MIRA cluster projects, and projects funded under ACP S&T calls. Participants suggested collaboration in areas like the creation of a joint Summer School, in dissemination activities, and joint participation in events. In the future, cooperation will be possible via new funding sources, including the upcoming ERAfrica Joint Call, Joint Africa-EU partnerships, the African Research Grants, and national development programmes.
Finally, the participants discussed the possibilities for clustering the Africa Call projects. Indeed, a key outcome of the meeting was the formation of the water projects’ cluster that has gone on to propose joint activities between its members. Multi-sector, multidisciplinary clusters were seen by participants as an optional, but beneficial way of grouping projects to enhance mutual learning and engage in complimentary actions. Activities for clustering could include shared participation in events, co-organizing events or activities, and/or shared outputs (focusing on translating outputs into products or services), some of which could be done via the CAAST-Net Portal for the Africa Call projects created on the project’s website.
Africa Call project representatives also joined a CAAST-Net / MIRA meeting in Cairo during November 2012 (Task 8.3). With a focus on innovation, the event was seen as a route to encourage thinking in the Africa Call projects on output uptake, while also intended as an opportunity for networking with the MIRA water projects’ cluster and projects from the Africa Research Grants programme which were represented at the meeting. The workshop also aimed to network project representatives with African and European policy makers and experts in areas such as innovation. Despite the absence of the African Union Commission, participants were still given an insight into the African policymaking process by the experts who were in attendance. In addition, a representative of the European Commission gave an overview of the ways in which cooperation and input is possible.

Potential Impact:
CAAST-Net was established as a policy support project to contribute to the wider goal of reinforcing the strategic bi-regional partnership in scientific and technological research and innovation between Europe and Africa, particularly, but not exclusively under the framework of the Joint Africa-Europe Strategy and with special attention to cooperation under the EU’s successive framework programmes for research and innovation. Its actions were designed with the intention both of raising awareness of and informing cooperation policy and decision making on the one hand, and of encouraging more and better Africa-EU S&T cooperation partnerships on the other.
Addressing its goal, CAAST-Net elaborated a series of objectives (reproduced above), each to be delivered through a specific activity or group of activities. These activities fall into four broad groups: identifying and prioritising researchable topics of mutual interest and benefit for bi-regional cooperation; supporting the policy environment for bi-regional cooperation; supporting bi-regional partnerships; and assessing the performance of bi-regional cooperation. CAAST-Net’s work plan reflects the strategy of optimally deploying its activities to progress the state of the art of Africa-EU cooperation from its situation at the start of 2008 when the project began.
In the first year of CAST-Net partners agreed on a series of areas, drawing on the content of Annex 1, against which to assess project impact. These would serve the project on two levels: 1) to assess progress in international S&T cooperation between Europe and Africa and the impact of CAAST-Net in that progress; and 2) to assess progress in the implementation of the project itself: The following are taken from the revised project Description of Work of 2010.
(i) Level of African – European FP7 cooperation: Ideally the indicator used for this activity area should demonstrate that there had been a direct link between CAAST-Net’s activities and the results of African participation in different FP7 calls for proposals. The other main indicator used in this activity area will be Africa specific opportunities included in future FP7 calls for proposals as a result of the policy dialogue, R&D priority identification and other activities facilitated by CAAST-Net.
(ii) Level of other (i.e. non FP7) African – European S&T cooperation: In this activity area the major focus is to determine how CAAST-Net has impacted on improving cooperation for example using bilateral cooperation partnerships between African and European countries.
(iii) Intensity of African – European R&D policy dialogue: The organisation of the CAAST-Net R&D policy dialogue events and their outputs constitute the main indicator.
(iv) Impact of S&T on African – European political and economic cooperation: The main indicator used in this area of activity is an analysis of discussions on S&T cooperation in political and economic forums for Africa-EU cooperation and determining how CAAST-Net contributed to informing such discussions. A concrete indicator would for example be the reference to S&T in other policy documents released by these forums.
(v) Synergy between Framework Programme cooperation and EU development cooperation with Africa: The main indicator in this area would be funding opportunities for S&T in development cooperation programmes to which preparation CAAST-Net had contributed. Similarly, new development orientated research opportunities in the FP7 as a result of CAAST-Net effort would be an indication of greater synergy.

Many metrics exist with which to measure international scientific and technological cooperation in research and innovation although the topic remains hotly debated. The outputs of the International Learning Network’s 2009 Madrid Indicators Workshop demonstrate the complexity and difficulty of selecting regionally appropriate and specific input and output indicators not only of national, but also of regional and bi-regional cooperation. Input parameters based for example on investment in R&D, the number of collaborative R&I projects and the number of participating organisations, and output parameters based for example on joint publications and patents have proven their utility in measuring collaborative research activity and international cooperation. Indeed indicators such as the participation of African organisations in the EU’s framework programme do clearly demonstrate an increase in Africa-EU RDI cooperation over the lifetime of CAAST-Net.
While it is certainly possible to deploy a diverse range of accepted indicators of international cooperation such as those above to objectively demonstrate quantitative, and even qualitative change over a period of time, the same indicators do not usefully measure the contribution of an initiative such as CAAST-Net whose function it is to enhance international cooperation through cross-cutting and horizontal interventions. Furthermore, although increased quantity and quality of international cooperation can be demonstrated via diverse indicators, the attribution of change to the effect of the activities of individual initiatives such as a policy support project is problematic.
In addition to the problem of attribution of CAAST-Net activities mentioned above, there is the compounding effect of an unquantified delay between cause and effect. For many CAAST-Net actions based on bi-regional discussion for example, there is often no clearly defined point in time at which impact can be seen to have occurred. Furthermore, for each of the areas we can differentiate between tangible and intangible effects. While tangible effects are evident, much of CAAST-Net’s impact has been intangible: a better understanding of drivers, barriers and constraints to cooperation; enhanced knowledge about the policies and practice of bi-regional cooperation; increased mutual awareness and trust between stakeholders and partners. By their nature, these intangible effects are difficult to quantify meaningfully and much reliance is placed therefore on anecdotal evidence.
Notwithstanding the problems of attribution, timelines and metrics for intangible effects, CAAST-Net conducted regular internal assessment exercises to determine both technical progress and estimate impact against its objectives. In the following section we summarise progress against the five areas given above, making inferences about potential impact by reference to the suggested indicators. In further considering potential impact we also place considerable emphasis on extensive anecdotal evidence and many less tangible indicators.

Framework programme cooperation.
Total participation by African organisations in the EU’s seventh framework programme over CAAST-Net’s life time to the end of 2012 shows an increase relative to total participation in FP6. Within FP7 itself a substantial peak in participation by African organisations was observed in response to the Coordinated Call for Africa and moreover, Africa is also the region beyond the EU with the highest level of FP7 participation.
Proportional attribution of such increases to the effect of CAAST-Net activities can not be directly measured except in certain specific cases which are mentioned below. CAAST-Net did not directly support the 2010 Coordinated Call for Africa and it is unlikely therefore that the African participation was enhanced by CAAST-Net activities. However, anecdotal evidence does point to a more general contribution by CAAST-Net to the participation of African organisations in FP7. CAAST-Net’s Kenyan partner MoHEST (Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology) for instance acknowledges an increase in participation of Kenyan organisations in FP7 that results from MoHEST’s participation in CAAST-Net and the increased awareness of opportunities that ensued which were disseminated in a targeted and strategic manner to Kenyan organisations.
In the same vein, CAAST-Net’s Nigerian partner NOTAP (National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion) considers that Nigeria, through NOTAP, notably benefitted from the CAAST-Net project, especially in the area of awareness creation and the process for networking on international cooperation partnerships. Some Nigerian scientists and researchers participated in and benefitted from CAAST-Net Info Days and were able to network with colleagues on some project calls. NOTAP considers CAAST-Net to have been a vital tool in facilitating functional linkages with other EU-Africa Science, Technology and Innovation initiatives within the country.
CAAST-Net information days raised awareness among research and associated communities of general and specific cooperation opportunities under FP7. Feedback from information day participants indicated interest in FP7 participation and suggested an increased likelihood of applications to FP7 and a positive impact on cooperation. In the absence however of specific follow-up of participants, direct evidence of FP7 applications made and new participations is not available.
CAAST-Net’s engagement with regional economic communities via the S&T desks and with representatives of national and regional S&T oriented organisations included raising awareness of cooperation opportunities presented by FP7. Here again, the increased knowledge of the framework programme can be expected to contribute indirectly to an increase in cooperation and therefore have a positive impact.
As described above under work package four, CAAST-Net conducted three research prioritisation exercises in Africa, two of which (on social sciences and on non-communicable diseases) led directly to the inclusion of topics in FP7 work programmes that either specifically or indirectly sought participation of African organisations.

Cooperation using other instruments and policies
Beyond FP7, evidence exists for the indirect impact of CAAST-Net on bilateral Africa-EU cooperation: A framework agreement for research signed between Kenya and France was facilitated by the trust and networking that operates between consortium partners. Side meetings at CAAST-Net events allowed the agreement to be discussed and elaborated, resulting in joint research programmes and the funding of several topics such as modelling of complex systems, gemstones geology in East Africa and heritage programmes. In another example, CAAST-Net provided France and Germany with the platform to build up a joint call focusing on the Sahel on themes discussed within CAAST-Net workshops: health of emerging diseases, environment and agriculture, food security and mathematical modelling.
CAAST-Net activities, particularly the analytical work and the networking between partners, directly supported the ERA-Net for Africa – ERAfrica – under which European and African member states’ research programmes developed new joint calls for proposals in 2012. Close cooperation and significant overlap of partners between CAAST-Net and ERAfrica meant that the outputs of the CAAST-Net research prioritisation workshop (on renewable energy and rural electrification), while not contributing topics to FP7 work programmes, was instrumental in informing the ERAfrica 2012 call for proposals on renewable energy. The CAAST-Net solar energy symposium for SADC and Europe cooperation was similarly instrumental in informing the ERAfrica renewable energy call.

R&D policy dialogue
CAAST-Net’s anticipated role in providing secretariat services to the high-level, formal bi-regional policy dialogue platform would have placed the project at the heart of the dialogue process and would arguably have been the most critical of all CAAST-Net tasks in terms of advancing the cooperation process. The potential impact of CAAST-Net’s services was entirely conditional on emergence of the officially mandated platform which although delayed, was eventually endorsed in 2010 by heads of state and government form Africa and Europe and met for the first time in 2011. However, concerns expressed in some quarters about the sustainability and legitimacy of a project of finite duration taking on an institutional role, notwithstanding the precedent created by the MIRA project serving as secretariat to MoCo, ultimately acted as a barrier to CAAST-Net fulfilling its anticipated role. The period between PDP emergence and project completion was short in institutional terms and in retrospect inadequate to have fostered a stable relationship between PDP and CAAST-Net that would have provided the foundation for provision of CAAST-Net services.
In the absence of services to the PDP CAAST-Net has been a strong promoter of informal S&T cooperation policy dialogue processes. CAAST-Net’s three stakeholder conferences on cooperation policy (the nature of bi-regional cooperation, innovation in bi-regional cooperation, research infrastructures & bi-regional cooperation), its discussion meetings around barriers and constraints to cooperation, around policy coherence, and its engagement with the RECs have broadened the range of actors cognisant of and engaged with Africa-Europe cooperation policy beyond those in the formal AU-EU forums.
The informal dialogue as advanced by CAAST-Net has served to raise awareness of the potential contribution of cooperation to regional and bi-regional objectives, has provided forums to debate issues of relevance to the formal dialogue, and has collated inputs from the Africa-EU S&T community to enrich formal policy dialogue processes. All these have advanced greater mutual understanding that encourages effective, equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation.
With CAAST-Net’s informal dialogues/discussions also attended by some participants of formal dialogue forums such as the PDP SOM and JEG8 (including some partners themselves as MS representatives), in addition to disseminating outputs of these formal processes, CAAST-Net has provided an informal forum through which formal bi-regional debate, policy- and decision-making can be informed and enriched. The CAAST-Net/PAERIP conference on research infrastructures is a clear example of a well-informed discussion, attended by a diverse audience, including MS, EU and AU policy/decision makers which will have significant impact on RI debate at the formal level.
Recognising the critical role played by RECs in advancing African cooperation and integration, CAAST-Net’s efforts with RECs, as described above, to encourage their knowledge of and participation in S&T policy dialogue with European partners will have reinforced the regional dimension of the broader Africa-EU dialogue. No other entity has actively pursued this approach and in that respect, CAAST-Net’s contribution has been unique.
At the REC level, CAAST-Net has directly impacted the quality and effectiveness of development planning and programme prioritisation by engaging the RECs (SADC, EAC, ECOWAS and ECCAS) in identifying areas of potential impact in their regions that can be synergistically acted upon by EU and African scientists for the benefit of the citizens of the member states. In ECCAS, on the basis of discussions with CAAST-Net, a decision was taken to strengthen the cooperation in research generally and the participation in European programmes in particular by the equipment of ‘focal points’. The processes initiated within the scope of CAAST-Net will fully evolve within the next four years of CAAST-Net Plus. The renewed thinking about the role of S&T in accelerating growth within the RECs, their subsequent prioritisation (of renewable energy in SADC, of food security in the EAC and of traditional medicine in ECOWAS) and partnering with EU researchers to implement these priorities are to a great measure influenced and therefore attributable to CAAST-Net activities in the RECs.

Impact of S&T on African – European political and economic cooperation.
No specific activities were undertaken, although this is an area where INCO-Nets’ contribution was largely made in an indirect manner. CAAST-Net had some engagements with the Joint Expert Group of the Joint Africa–EU Strategy’s Science, Information Society and Space Partnership. A special workshop was convened in 2010 to discuss recommendations on opportunities to enhance S&T cooperation to inform deliberations preparing the Third Africa-EU Summit.
Little impact is readily discernible although some papers and reports related to African-EU political and economic cooperation make reference to S&T cooperation and from time the role of CAAST-Net is mentioned. It is, thus, possible that the output of events such as the workshop on recommendations to enhance cooperation do receive some recognition.
Though CAAST-Net was not involved in the economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations between the EU and various RECs, some partners consider that the pace and direction of the negotiations appears to have been influenced by the concerns of interest to CAAST-Net that are well articulated in various project reports. These include, among others, (a) the need to recognise science and technology as an area of cooperation as well as a tradable good and service that is subject to negotiation, (b) the need to increase the market potential and create greater development impact of the EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology and trade by engaging with larger trading blocs-RECs- as opposed to individual member states and (c) re-examination of tariff structures, non-tariff and other barriers to STI and trade cooperation.

Synergy between Framework Programme cooperation and EU development cooperation with Africa
CAAST-Net’s voice was one of many contributing to the debate advocating for increased synergy between research cooperation under the Framework Programme and the EU’s development cooperation under the EDF.
The analytical work conducted was based on cross-country data from Africa and Europe in addition to regional and country case studies. The study generated analysis of policy options for increased take-up of development-oriented FP research for innovation and supported other CAAST-Net tasks especially around informal policy dialogues by contributing an empirical basis and background material to strengthening engagements with the RECs in Africa for example. The analytical work on the STI landscape provided valuable insights on the priorities, capabilities and current research and product innovation activities in the RECs. This information contributed to engagements with SADC and the EAC in 2011 and 2012 on mutual research priorities and potential collaborative programmes between Africa and Europe-based researchers. Besides informing public policy and priority setting at regional and continental level, the proposals and recommendations generated by the analyses contributed to the growing number of voices advocating for explicit inclusion of S&T in their funding portfolio and increased flexibilities within the design, scope and operational procedures of the FPs and EDF to prioritise S&T in national/regional development agendas, and also enhance research partnerships and collaboration between Africa and Europe.
While the preliminary outlooks of EDF 11 and Horizon 2020 may reflect greater recognition and deliberate effort to incorporate these collective policy proposals and recommendations, and while these new or re-designed instruments are expected to enhance cohesion among the various policies and augment the development impact of Africa-EU cooperation initiatives, including the EU-Africa Strategy, direct tangible impact of CAAST-Net activities cannot reasonably be attributed. Nevertheless, CAAST-Net did have legitimate indirect, intangible impact through extending the number of stakeholders, which included policy and decision makers, engaging in the debate and by increasing their level of awareness and knowledge level during both the analytical and dissemination phases.
The Coordinated Call for Africa (FP-Africa-2010) represents an important contribution to the implementation of the 8th Partnership of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy through direct support for 15 topics that collectively address three priority thematic areas of health, environment, and food security, some of which are articulated in the science and technology chapter of the Book of Lighthouse Projects.
CAAST-Net activities encouraged and supported multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary cooperation between these projects and with other relevant projects. The project also supported the engagement of these projects with relevant stakeholders, specifically African S&T leadership. As a result of these actions, the project outputs are more likely to be taken into use by the wider research sector, by governments, industry and civil society. Research undertaken in one discipline or sector is also more likely to be utilized in other sectors when clusters of projects are cooperating and undertaking joint tasks (like organizing conferences or disseminating information). Linking the projects with policy makers not only leads to more informed policy makers, but encourages the projects to communicate their results to those engaging in and making policies.

Main dissemination activities and exploitation of results.
As a coordination and support action, dissemination was integral to CAAST-Net activities. Project activities were themselves focussed on gathering, analysing and then disseminating information about aspects of bi-regional cooperation to appropriate audiences, and these processes themselves became the public results of the project. The exploitation of these results related to the subsequent use of disseminated information by actors and stakeholders of bi-regional cooperation in ways that would lead to strengthened partnerships and an enhanced policy environment. CAAST-Net’s capacity to influence the use of information rested in significant measure on the perceived quality of outputs and on the relationship with the target audience.
Over its life CAAST-Net conducted many events the main purpose of which was the dissemination of information about aspects of bi-regional STI cooperation to reinforce the broad bi-regional STI partnership and encourage individual cooperation partnerships. Examples, many of which are detailed in preceding sections, include information days to disseminate information about opportunities for cooperation under FP7, bi-regional dialogues on diverse aspects of cooperation policy and practice (for example policy coherence, research infrastructures, barriers to cooperation, innovation), dialogues with regional economic communities, research topic identification, and networking events to link projects among themselves and with policy and decision makers. Some events were hosted to specifically debate, enrich and ultimately endorse partners’ analytical studies which would go on to be more widely disseminated, other events were conducted to gather stakeholder opinion which would be formulated and disseminated as potential input to the formal bi-regional cooperation governance processes, yet other events were hosted as forums, supported and animated by input papers generated by project partners, to primarily share information and experience among stakeholders as a route to raising mutual awareness and reducing asymmetries.
Whatever the nature of the event, a simple approach to dissemination assured that outputs reached an appropriate audience. The approach relied on cooperation between the knowledge management platform and individual activity / task leaders and typically involved appropriate formatting of an output for a specific audience, disseminating it electronically via email and as hard copies where appropriate at suitable events and placing it in the public domain on the project website. CAAST-Net had an entire work package dedicated to knowledge management which supported partners’ communication and dissemination needs, providing for exploitation of results.
The CAAST-Net Bulletin however provided the main pillar of the project’s approach to dissemination of technical activities Across its fifteen issues the Bulletin, brought CAAST-Net outputs to the diverse audience of project stakeholders, numbering over 700 by the end of the project comprising those who registered on the website and those who participated in project events. Issues provided concise summaries of project outputs – events and report - drafted by professional journalists working with CAAST-Net, often providing readers with links to more detailed information the website.

List of Websites:
Project website. www.caast-net.org
Contact details: Mr Gerard Ralphs, Research Africa, Research Africa, A307 Gate House, Black River Park, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0)21 447 5484,

Email: gpr@research-africa.net

By agreement with the EC scientific officer, the above public website will not be maintained for the usual one year beyond the end date of the project, conditional on all website content being available via the new website of CAAST-Net Plus (GA311806). Anticipated closure of the www.caast-net.org site is in April-May 2013.