IST-Africa 2021 Conference

10 - 14 May 2021


Hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Science and Innovation and Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa 2021 (10 - 14 May) is the sixteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research and Innovation Conferences.

Due to the unprecedented circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic and based on the success of IST-Africa 2020, to protect the health and well being of IST-Africa Community Members, IST-Africa 2021 will take place as a virtual event from 10 - 14 May.

IST-Africa 2021 has confirmed Technical Co-Sponsorship by IEEE Africa Council, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, IEEE Education Society, IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society, IEEE South Africa Section, IEEE Tunisia Section, IEEE Uganda Section and IEEE UK and Ireland SSIT Chapter.

IST-Africa Week 2021 will provide a world-class international forum to showcase existing and emerging technology-enabled Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and ICT4D activities and capacity in Africa, Europe and the rest of the world. The Conference Programme combines strategic keynote presentations, a High-Level Roundtable, technical and policy papers, case studies and workshops. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research and innovation cooperation under Horizon Europe, and other international funding programs.

The goals of the IST-Africa Conference Series are to

- Support Development of the Information Society and Knowledge Economy, and Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in Africa

- Promote International Research Innovation, and Policy Cooperation and Coordination

- Showcase African Research and Innovation Capacity

- Stimulate exploitation of research and innovation results by the public, private and societal sectors

IST-Africa 2021 Programme

The Scientific Programme for IST-Africa 2021 is based on a double blind peer review of Papers submitted to an open Call for Papers which closed on late December 2020.

Plenary Presentations confirmed to date include:

- Welcome Address - Hon. Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, South Africa

- Horizon Europe - Building on EU-Africa Cooperation - Maria Cristina Russo, Director, Global Approach & International Cooperation in R&I, DG: Research & Innovation, European Commission

- Lessons Learnt from Leveraging Technological Innovation to Manage a Pandemic - Dr Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director-General: Technology Innovation, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa

- IST-Africa Journey- Daan du Toit, Deputy Director-General: International Cooperation and Resources, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa

- Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) - Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa

- From Principles to Actions: Open Science in Africa - Dr Sepo Hachigonta, Director, Strategic Partnerships, National Research Foundation, South Africa

- C4IR South Africa - Supporting Transformation of Manufacturing by Leveraging the Current Wave of Technological Revolution - Ntsibane Ntlatlapa, Head of the South African Affiliate C4IR Centre

The IST-Africa 2021 Final Programme incorporates 31 thematically focused sessions featuring over 120 presenters from the public, private, education, research and societal organisations from 25 countries. Thematic areas include:

- Monday 10 May - CyberSecurity, Collaborative Open Innovation and ICT-enabled Entrepreneurship, Global Development, Content Technologies

- Tuesday 11 May - eHealth, eGovernment, Societal Implications of Technology

- Wednesday 12 May - Next Generation Computing, eInfrastructure, ICT Supporting Power Deliery

- Thursday 13 May - Technology-enhanced Learning

- Friday 14 May - eAgriculture, Environment SustainabilityThematic areas addressed include:

Horizon Europe / Horizon 2020

The next phase of the European Research and Innovation Framework Program, Horizon Europe will start in 2021. The previous phase, Horizon 2020, had an 80 million euro budget for research and innovation between 2014 - 2020.

Horizon 2020 addressed all research and innovation funding that was previously provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development (e.g. FP7), Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

Support for Research and Innovation under Horizon 2020 included:

- Strengthening research in Science

- Strengthening Industrial leadership in Innovation, including investment in key technologies, access to capital and support for SMEs

- Address Societal challenges such as climate change, sustainable transport and mobility, affordable renewal energy, food security, ageing population

The Work Programmes for 2018 - 2020 were published on 27 October 2017, with the updated version for 2019 published on 24 July 2018 and updated version for 2020 Calls published on 02 July 2019. Click here to download updated Work Programmes.

IST-Africa has prepared resources to support engagement with Horizon 2020:

- IST-Africa Introduction to Horizon 2020 is designed to support newcomers to Horizon 2020 to better understand the structure, rules and expectations.

- IST-Africa Guide to 2020 Calls for Proposals in Horizon 2020 provides an overview of Calls, themes and deadlines during 2019 within the Marie Curie, eInfrastructures, Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) and each of the Societal Challenges (Health, Food Security and Agriculture, Energy, Transport, Environment, Inclusive and Reflective Societies, Secure Societies) Work Programmes.

- IST-Africa Report on ICT Initiatives, Research and Innovation Priorities and Capacity (ISBN No: 978-1-905824-58-8) provides an update on the ICT enabling Environment, ICT-related Initiatives and Research Capacity in IST-Africa Partner countries (Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda) as at December 2018. It provides insights into National Research Priorities, Priority areas for collaboration in the context of H2020 and Horizon Europe and a mapping of research organisations and research priorities to H2020 themes. It provides an update and mapping of Innovation Spaces in IST-Africa partner countries. It is an excellent resource to identify partners in other countries and to learn more about achievements in policy development and ongoing projects in each IST-Africa partner country.