PrAEctiCe project is funded by the HORIZON Europe programme under Grant Agreement number 101084248

PrAEctiCe attends the AU-EU Innovation Agenda

On March 20, 2024, APODISSI’s general manager Margherita Trestini,  leading the dissemination and communication activities of PrAEctiCe, attended the AU-EU Innovation Agenda: Forward-looking cooperation for the Africa-Europe Partnership, a high-level session as part of the European Research and Innovation (R&I) Days 2024, organised by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The event took place in a hybrid format in Brussels and online from March 18 to March 21, 2024.

Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation in Research and Innovation at the European Commission, moderated the event. The session brought together a distinguished panel comprising of African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E. Prof Mohamed Belhocine, Mr Hans Stausboll, Director at the Africa Directorate at DG INTPA, and Ms Chimwemwe Chamdimba, Head of AUDA-NEPAD Health Policy and Regulatory Harmonization. The discussion centred around exploring past, present, and future opportunities related to the joint Innovation Agenda and the Africa-Europe partnership.

The session was used as an opportunity to launch the “Dashboard of Initiatives”, an interactive virtual platform that integrates all projects, programs, and partnerships recognised as contributors to the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) Innovation Agenda’s ten-year implementation. The event was attended by participants on-site and online followers, emphasising the significance of transcontinental cooperation and innovation. The event set the stage for future impactful partnerships and shared prosperity.

Furthermore, the agenda emphasises the significance of innovation and research in the four main priority areas relating to public health, green transition, innovation and technologies, and capacity for sciences. This is in line with the objectives of Agenda 2063, a comprehensive plan for Africa’s economic and social development from 2013 to 2063, which outlines a 50-year vision for the continent’s progress. The discussions entailed a success story testimonial from EDCTP’s Executive Director, Dr Michael Makanga, which illustrated the tangible impact of Framework Programmes on innovative ventures related to societal challenges in the health sector connecting Africa and Europe.

Mr Hans Stausboll stressed the need for political commitment, research and innovation centrality, and accountability with monitoring instruments to ensure long-term success. Concrete projects in innovation, agricultural research, vaccines, manufacturing, and capacity development akin to Erasmus+ were proposed.

The PrAEctiCe project aims to contribute to the AU-EU research and innovation collaboration strategy. It achieves this by involving stakeholders in the innovation process, which helps to increase the adoption of innovative outputs, such as the PrAEctiCe Decision Support Tool. This tool is specifically designed to assist farmers in East Africa with transitioning to agroecology. It provides practical approaches to address their challenges and collects relevant data.

The project emphasises valorising collective intelligence, ensuring gender equality, and encouraging youth participation. It also seeks to strengthen coordination and cooperation between AU and EU innovation programs and various implementing institutions. This ensures knowledge transfer, capacity building, and mobility opportunities consistent with the socio-economic needs of the concerned AU and EU countries or regions.

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