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The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership aims to support and connect innovation and technology incubators and accelerators in tapping into new markets, find their trusted partner across the Mediterranean as well as build new perspectives, knowledge and networks. Incubators, accelerators and technology transfer offices play a key role in fostering development of innovative enterprises. They allow start-ups and SMEs to engage in (new) business opportunities by providing support, guidance, mentorships and coaching, as well as access to essential network contacts. To harness the benefits of disruptive innovation and technology, the Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership seeks to build mutually beneficial partnerships and networks between the two continents by addressing both issues faced by entrepreneurs pursuing growth internationally and challenges in harnessing funding opportunities. 

The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership is funded by the European Commission and will run until May 2021. The team, based both in Africa and in Europe, carries out this initiative in close collaboration with experts of the advisory board (see below) as well as key actors from both continents.

Explore our list of events and available resources.

Aims and objectives

The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership aims to connect high-quality incubators, accelerators and technology transfer offices from both continents to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships resulting in collaboration, exchange and growth.

To harness the benefits of innovation, technology and research, this initiative also seeks to explore shared challenges  faced in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, the opportunities for technology transfer and African participation in open EU programmes like H2020.

Opportunities and synergies
Technology and societal challenges form a key role in the exploration of potential opportunities. Similarly, synergies with other initiatives and programmes are investigated.

Aims and objectives

Activities

  • Needs assessment and exploring synergies with other initiatives
    Interviews with key stakeholders, desk research, strategy refinement, communication, exploring technology transfer and societal challenges, investigating potential synergies with other initiatives.
  • Strengthening intercontinental collaboration between incubators and accelerators
    Events in Africa and Europe, virtual meetings, exchange of knowledge, services, staff members and potentially start-ups, signing memoranda of understanding
  • Facilitating Technology Transfer
    Explore opportunities to provide technology access to innovative start-ups and connect technology transfer actors and IP management organisations in Europe and Africa.
  • Designing and performing trainings on technology and finance
    Developing training modules for startups, entrepreneurs as well as intermediary organisation, seeking synergies with existing trainings and adapting training materials to local needs and style. Generic training modules will cover EU funding opportunities, whereas Technology modules will focus on intercontinental collaboration in innovation projects.
Activities

Network Partners

Afrilabs
AFRILABS
EBN
EBN
Emerging Valley
EMERGING VALLEY
VC4a
VENTURE CAPITAL FOR AFRICA
Next Society
NEXT SOCIETY

Participating Tech Hubs

iHub NairobiIncubateur DescartesCEU Innovation LabCo Creation Hub (cchub)Impact Hub AccraThe Innovation VillageIdeiaLabBongohiveActive SpacesCTICCyricDublin BIC@iBiz AfricaImperial College LondonIPnJICSmart LabSoft StartStartlifeTechnoportWaziup

 

Advisory Board

  • Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director of AfriLabs
    AfriLabs is a network organisation of over 158 Technology and Innovation Hubs across 45 African countries; leading the development of programmes and building partnerships that support and work with these innovation hubs and other stakeholders to raise high potential entrepreneurs that will stimulate economic growth and social development in Africa.
     
  • Robert Sanders, Senior Project Advisor of EBN
    EBN is a network of around 140 quality-certified EU|BICs (business and innovation centres, incubators, accelerators and other support organisations) and approximately 100 Associate Members that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs in Europe.
     
  • ‘Bosun Tijani, CEO - Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, a Social Innovation Centre dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. CcHUB is Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multi-functional, multi-purpose space where work to catalyze creative social tech ventures take place. The HUB is a place for technologists, social entrepreneurs, government, tech companies, impact investors and hackers in and around Lagos to co-create new solutions to the many social problems in Nigeria.
     
  • Samir Abdelkrim, Founder and CEO of StartupBRICS, a media and a consultancy focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa and emerging markets. It was funded in 2013 and it is the first blog in French 100% dedicated to the news Tech, Innovation & Startups BRICS and emerging countries. Samir is also a African technology reporter for Le Monde and is the Founder of Emerging Valley.
     
  • Ben White, Founder and CEO at Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A), connecting startup entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support programs, mentors and investors they require to succeed. Ben has been venturing in the African technology and media space since 2003, launching AfricaNews.com as one of the first pan-African news websites. He has done ethnographic research on the emergence of software cultures in Kampala, Uganda and taught classes in digital entrepreneurship at the University of Amsterdam. Ben set up the ICT Entrepreneurship program at the Humanistic Institute for Development (Hivos) where he funded early initiatives like the iHub and Ushahidi. Ben is on the board of ActivSpaces, a Cameroon based incubator, and is a founder of AfriLabs, a pan-African network of innovation hubs. An angel investor and partner at Sanaga Ventures, Ben is also a founder of the African Business Angels Network (ABAN). In 2007 he started VC4A, an online platform and global network organization for high growth high impact entrepreneurs. 
Advisory Board Africa Europe Innovation Partnership