Horizon 2020 Provides Research and Innovation Opportunities for Egypt

Smart Village, Cairo, 10 February 2014

Representatives of the Egyptian public, private and education and research sectors in Egypt participated in a one-day Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Workshop (Smart Club, 10 February) hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and delivered by long term partner, IIMC (Ireland), Coordinator of the IST-Africa Initiative.

Founded in 2002, Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), and Co-Funded under the European Framework Programme since 2005, the IST-Africa Initiative is a strategic collaboration between IIMC (Ireland) and Ministries and National Councils responsible for Information Society, ICT and/or Innovation adoption, policy and research in 18 African Countries. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is the national IST-Africa Partner for Egypt.

Participants learnt about opportunities to secure international funding for research and innovation projects addressing key economic sectors including ICT, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture and Health. As the second most successful country in the African Continent under the FP7 European Research Framework Programme which has just ended (96 projects, over €16 million in research funding), Egyptian organisations involved in research and innovation activities (whether from the public, private or education and research sectors) are in an excellent position to compete for research funding under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme that runs from 2014 - 2020.

European governments have committed to invest €79 billion in research and innovation addressing global challenges from 2014 - 2020. Organisations from Egypt and all other African countries are entitled to compete for funding as part of international consortia that include at least three European partners from three different European countries.

The IST-Africa Horizon 2020 Training Workshop provided an Overview of Horizon 2020 Priority Areas (Excellence Science, Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies, Societal Challenges) and then provided insight into specific challenges of particular relevance to Egypt under Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) and Societal Challenges (e.g. Health, Food Security and Agriculture, Environment).

Workshop participants were sensitized to Horizon 2020 Participation Rules and Instruments and advised to focus on funding opportunities that are aligned with the strategic objectives of their organisations. Preparation of a proposal and how proposals are evaluated and ranked for funding was also presented.

There was a high level of participation from workshop delegates, and this was complemented by presentations by Egyptian partners from a number of successful FP7 research projects including V-MusT project (CULTNET), RECOCAPE project (ITIDA) and Africa Build Project (Information Technology Institute), who shared their experiences of participation in European funded research consortia. There was considerable discussion of important topics such as potential partner roles and issues related to Intellectual Property Rights.

Founded in 2002, IST-Africa facilitates and supports

- International Innovation, Policy and Research Cooperation

- Knowledge Sharing and Skills Transfer between IST-Africa Partners

- Collaborative Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Adoption of Living Labs Methodologies

- Information Society, ICT and Innovation aspects of the Africa - EU Strategic Partnership

- Awareness of African Research Capacity, cross-border cooperation & participation in H2020

- Establishment of National Contact Points (NCP) in IST-Africa Partner Countries

The IST-Africa Portal provides free access to a wide range of useful reports including the IST-Africa Guide to 2014 Calls in Horizon 2020, and links to download Horizon 2020 Work Programmes (2014 - 2015).

For more information please contact, Mrs Bodour Nassief, International Relations Division, MCIT.