IST-Africa - Horizon 2020 Training Workshop, Mauritius, 14 December 2016

14 December 2016

National Computer Board, as the IST-Africa partner in Mauritius, organised the IST-Africa Horizon 2020 Workshop in Mauritius on 14 December 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 Albion Fisheries Research Centre, Ceridian, Charles Telfair Institute, Educomp elearning ltd, EFOI, Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, Imperial College London (UK), Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius Oceanography Institute, Mauritius Research Council, Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute, Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security, Ministry of Education HR &TE & SR, Ministry of Environment, SD and Disaster and Beach management, Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Ministry of Oceanonomy, National Computer Board, Nurabytes Ltd, Open University of Mauritius, Procurement Policy Office (Ministry of Finance), State Informatic Limited (SIL), University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computer Science), University of Technology Mauritius (School of Health Sciences, Department of Applied Maths, Department of IT) and Valee d'Osterlog Endemic Garden Foundation.

The workshop was opened by Mr Vik Bhoyroo, Ag. Executive Director, National Computer Board and Hon. Etinenne Sinatambou, Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation.

Each organisation presented their current research capacity and areas of most interest for International Cooperation, to support identification of potential synergies in relation to future research. Research areas being undertaken within the participating institutions include: Cloud Computing, Climate Change, Data Mining and Modelling, eAgriculture and Food Security including organic food, Food Science, eHealth, Technology-enhanced Learning, Internet of Things, Renewable Energy and Biotechnology, Marine planning using GIS, Environmental management, Environmental risk management, System modelling, Smart grids, Language processing, Security, Biotechnology, Sensor networking.

Areas of thematic research interest identified by participants where ICT can be applied as a horizontal enabler in Mauritius in the context of Research and Innovation and Innovation Actions included: eAgriculture and Food Security, Climate Change, GIS, Smart grids Renewable Energy and Biotechnology, Environmental management and Technology-enhanced Learning.

Mauritius was represented in 6 FP7 projects and to date has been involved in one Horizon 2020 project. 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 brainstormed around end-user needs, key stakeholders to be consulted, key stakeholders that would be directly involved in the Innovation activities in relation to eAgriculture and Food Security, eHealth, Energy, Environmental Mangagement and Technology Enhanced Learning.

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