11 September 2017
International Cooperation is an important principle of Horizon 2020. As at May 2017 there are over 300 participations from 213 organisations in 31 African countries involved in 82 Horizon 2020 projects, bringing research funding in excess of €58.3 million into African research centres and universities.
In the context of supporting African participation in Horizon 2020, IST-Africa provided DG CONNECT with the evidence required to justify the inclusion of ICT-39-2015 and ICT-39-2017 Calls focused on end-user community driven research cooperation with Africa in the Horizon 2002 ICT (LEIT) Work Programmes.
During 2016 and early 2017 IST-Africa raised awareness of Horizon 2020 ICT-39-2017 call which was focused on research cooperation between Europe and Africa with a focus on addressing end-user requirements in sub-Saharan African countries through Innovation Actions. IST-Africa organised a series of training workshops during October - December 2016 in Namibia (26 October), Lesotho (31 October), Swaziland (02 November), Kenya (10 November), Tanzania (14 November), Botswana (17 November). Ethiopia (21 November), Malawi (28 November), Uganda (09 December), Cameroon (09 December) and Mauritius (14 December). IST-Africa also provided support in identifying relevant thematic areas and potential partners for inclusion in cross-border validation.
The ICT-39-2017 Call was very successful with 71 Innovation Actions submitted with 659 participations. Participants represented 29 African countries including good levels of participation from the following IST-Africa partner countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. The proposals addressed a wide range of topics incorporating an ICT component across Horizon 2020 thematic areas. The most prevalent thematic areas addressed in the proposals submitted were eHealth and eLearning.
Thirty-three proposals were over threshold with seven projects short-listed for funding, based on the available funding envelope. The thematic areas addressed in the short listed projects for funding include Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, eAgriculture and eLearning.
African countries represented in the seven short listed projects include: Kenya (5 projects), Uganda (4 projects), Rwanda (2 projects), Senegal (2 projects), Ghana (2 projects), Ethiopia (2 projects), Tanzania (2 projects), Nigeria (2 projects), Niger (1 project), Zambia (1 project), South Africa (1 project) and Benin (1 project).
More details on the funded projects will not be available until after the grant agreements are signed in December 2017.