IST-Africa - Horizon 2020 Training Workshop, Windhoek, 26 October 2016

28 October 2016

The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, as the IST-Africa Initiative partner in Namibia, organised the IST-Africa Horizon 2020 Workshop in NamPower Conference Centre, Windhoek on 26 October 2016 in cooperation with IIMC (IST-Africa coordinator). This workshop was specifically focused on ICT-39 International partnership building in low and middle-income countries Call with a deadline of 25 April 2017.

The workshop was well attended with participants from The International University of Management (IUM), University of Namibia (UNAM), Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Ministry of Education and National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST). Additional briefing meetings were also undertaken with: Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research and research staff at International University of Management; Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Development, University of Namibia; Dean of Faculty of Computer Science and Informatics, Head of Informatics Department, Projects Office in Office of the Vice-Chancellor and researchers from the Departments of Computer Science, Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Innovation Design Lab, ITS and Health Sciences in Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST); Director, eGovernment Services, Office of the Prime Minister; Director, Directorate of Agricultural Research and Development, Deputy Director, Livestock Research and Mr, Deputy Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry; and CDC.

Each organisation presented their current research capacity and areas of most interest for International Cooperation. This knowledge exchange at national level was very interesting for the participants as they were able to identify potential synergies in relation to future research. Areas of thematic interest include eAgriculture & Food Security; eHealth; Technology-enhanced Learning; eGovernment; Water and Sanitation, Renewable Energy and Indigenous Knowledge.

Namibia was represented in 10 FP7 projects bringing in research funding of over 750,000 euro and to date has been involved in three Horizon 2020 projects, bringing in research and innovation funding in the region of 300,000 euro. Workshop participants were encouraged to leverage this successful track record to date and take advantage of opportunities for Innovation Actions under the ICT-39-2017 Call.

Following a presentation on the focus of the ICT-39-2017 Call, the participants broke into smaller groups to identify end-user needs, key stakeholders to be consulted, key stakeholders that would be directly involved in the Innovation activities and other relevant African countries for the following themes: eAgriculture including Water and Sanitation; eHealth; Technology-enhanced Learning; eGovernment and Renewable Energy.

Click here to download the full workshop report.

Focus of ICT-39-2017 Call

The Horizon 2020 ICT-39-2017 Call for Proposals (deadline 25 April 2017) provides a unique opportunity for African institutions undertaking Research and Innovation to co-design an Innovation Action based on addressing end-user requirements in sub-Saharan African countries in cooperation with European partners.

Innovation Actions are focused on technological improvements/adaptations as well as innovative service creation based on existing technologies. Activities should be led by a clearly defined user need/market opportunity for the technology being adapted based on requirements of sub-Saharan African countries identified through co-design . It is therefore necessary to identify a project focus that is relevant in a number of countries from the same region with a sustainability plan for wider roll out following successful validation and project funding.

Proposals should feature an explicit element exploring technology adoption, through understanding and evaluating behavioural responses to the introduction of new technologies in different regional settings. Societal and gender issues will be taken into account.

Based on the focus of this call it will be necessary to ensure that there are multidisciplinary teams - thematic experts in the target domain as well as ICT experts. Based on a number of African countries being involved, it is also necessary to co-design a proposal that addresses a common challenge at national level, that can be validated in a number of scenarios in the different countries.

Innovation Actions have limited research and development related to adaptation of existing technology . It is expected that any research related to the challenge to be addressed and understanding of the state of the art in the thematic area is already undertaken and demonstrated in the proposal submitted. Since demonstration and market validation is the primary focus of an Innovation Action, the consortium must demonstrate relevant links with end-user communities who will be involved in the validation process and this needs to be clearly demonstrated in the proposal submitted.

Horizon 2020 proposals are submitted by a consortia, which brings together necessary complementary expertise to address the project focus from Africa and Europe. It is a requirement of the funding instrument that there are a minimum of 3 European partners from 3 different Member States in addition to the relevant African partners. Horizon 2020 projects are based on a grant to the legal entity who is the partner providing reimbursement of actual costs (personnel rates from payroll, necessary equipment and travel).

Expected Impacts :

- Development of relevant technology responding to specific needs and conditions of the target country;

- Sustainable uptake of results within the targeted countries, beyond the project completion date;

- Reinforced international dimension of the ICT and Innovation aspects of Horizon 2020 and a higher level of international cooperation with low and middle income countries in ICT R&D and Innovation, focusing on areas that are beneficial to the target countries/region;

Type of Action: Innovation Action (18 months - 2 years in duration)

Funding per proposal: 1 - 2 million euro

Deadline: 25 April 2017