Overall Concept and Approach

The overall concept of the project was based on the assumption of mutual interest in a jointly owned bi‐regional partnership in STI. RINEA provided a tool dedicated to consolidating the advances and good practices of this emerging bi-regional STI partnership. RINEA aimed to strengthen the cooperation with a cluster of complementary mechanisms, drawing on a diversity of instruments, and working in partnership and alongside the formal governance structures of the JAES and of the STI partnership in particular.

Features of the consortium’s approach to realising the project’s concept:

  1. Stakeholder engagement.
  2. Affiliation with the business community and with international organisations.
  3. Fostering a multidisciplinary platform approach.
  4. Association to governance structures of the bi‐regional STI partnership and associated policy processes.
  5. Focus on joint priorities and on common societal challenges.
  6. Focus on H2020 for supporting partnerships, but with attention also to private, national and regional programmes supporting cooperation in STI research and capacity building.
  7. Openness of project activities to all interested entities of the European Union, Associated Countries and African Countries.
  8. Open but targeted communication and information.
  9. A balanced consortium of European and African national authorities in a trusting partnership.
  10. Building on recent and existing initiatives and the on‐going momentum.
  11. Assured rigor and quality of processes and outputs.
  12. The deliberate mainstreaming in project activities of traditionally marginalised groups; in particular women researchers and innovators, youth and the diaspora.

Addressing all aspects of the Work Programme, the project consisted of five complementary but inter‐linked work packages described briefly here:

  • WP1 analysed partnerships, frameworks and obstacles and implemented networking activities for reinforcing an Africa-EU bi-regional STI partnership between research and innovation actors (co-lead by ACU and AOSTI).
  • WP2 facilitated the launch and implementation of new joint calls for proposals of European and African STI programme owners building on lessons learnt from the past and assuring among others sustainability of the ERAfrica Initiative (an ERA‐NET with Africa funded by the EU´s 7th RTD Framework Programme) (co-lead by JyU  and DST).
  • WP3 offered contributions to the evidence-base for the planning and decision making processes of bi-regional STI governance structures, such as HLPD, and also offered support to the implementation of HLPD´s recommendations (co-lead by DGRSDT and IRD).
  • WP4 supported the dissemination of activities in WPs 1, 2 and 3 as well as more broadly promoting Africa-EU-STI cooperation to a wider STI stakeholder community and assure communication among the various STI actors (co-lead by DLR and MESRS).
  • WP5 assured effective and efficient project management for maximising project impact (coordinator DLR).

Although each WP had a particular focus, work packages are closely interlinked. These linkages were developed and adjusted in process.