The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) is organizing a virtual event, under the patronage of the South African Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation, to support “Building Tenable Technology Transfer for Africa and Europe”. The AEIP is an initiative of the African Union-European Union High Level Policy Dialogue, with funding from the EC, aiming to support and connect innovation and technology incubators, accelerators and technology transfer actors from both continents.
The event was originally planned to take place in Pretoria, South Africa. However, due to covid-19 crisis and travel limitations imposed, the event has now been converted into a series of 7 online sessions, for various stakeholders. A public session and policy forum, open for anyone who wishes to familiarise with AIEP, kicks off the event, which is followed by closed sessions of workshops for technology transfer organisations based in Africa and workshops for the AEIP Community of Practice. In this series of sessions, knowledge transfer experts, policy makers and innovators from both Africa and Europe will evolve their knowledge on technology transfer strategies, which include attracting funding, learning from open innovation practices, and managing Intellectual Property. Please find more information in table below.
The programme for the public session will feature a diverse set of speakers. Representatives from the European Commission, including Ms Maria Cristina Russo, from the South African Department for STI, Mr Daan Du Toit, as well as representatives from the African Union Commission, amongst others, will first highlight the importance of the AEIP and present upcoming opportunities that could further strengthen the partnership.
This is followed by a panel discussion covering the challenges, realities and opportunities in both continents from different angles such as policy, healthcare, companies and citizens. Opportunities and realities of innovation that will be highlighted during the panel discussion include:
- The European Commission’s support towards innovations in the ‘distance economy’.
- Macroeconomic-impact and policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa
- Accelerating progress on health and education related SDGs.
The launch event & policy forum event will be concluded with a round of pitches from Member States regarding opportunities and an update regarding the AIEP activities.
The public event will open to a larger public, including stakeholders such as policy makers, innovative entrepreneurs, EU Representations across Africa, representatives from the local innovation ecosystems, tech hubs, technology transfer organisations. In addition,
It will then be followed by a series of virtual sessions where Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) and Community of Practice (CoP) members will focus on topics of interest such as Intellectual Property and commercialisation of technology. The four virtual sessions for the TTOs “Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation” are co-organised in partnership with Southern African organisation SARIMA and will bring together a maximum of 30 TTOs. The sessions will provide training and discussion on the following topics:
- Managing impact
- Intellectual Property basics
- Overview on establishing an TTO
- Agreements and managing conflict of interest in Technology Transfer
For the AEIP’s Community of Practice of organisations in the field of technology exchange, two virtual sessions on “Insights from the community of practice on IP, open innovation and valorisation” are organised. These sessions will focus on:
- Presenting learning outcomes from the research on the technology transfer studies and strategies to the Core Community of Practice members
- Discussion and exchanging experiences
- Further developing and supporting a CoP between Africa and Europe in the field of technology exchange
- Completing learning cases by delving into models to understand and improve technology transfer
- Providing permanent support to the CoP and further develop the roadmap
After launching the partnership in 2019, AEIP has constituted a first group of the 12 CoP members who attended the first technology transfer event in Marseille which involved TTOs, Networks of TTOs, IP organisations and international organisations. These members are also joined by over 70 research and technology organisations and policy organisations interested in technology transfer from Africa and Europe. The membership portfolio includes actors such as universities, research centres, laboratories, policy organisations, networks/associations of TTOs, governmental bodies, etc.