In Marseille, on 2-5th of December, on the occasion of Emerging Valley (3-6 December), we are gathering tech hubs and technology transfer actors from Europe and Africa to pursue the development of partnerships for the second Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership event.
The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission has launched this Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership in September in Nairobi (Kenya), a novel initiative fostering innovation cooperation between Africa and Europe. The Partnership embedded as a pilot initiative of the EU-AU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology & Innovation.
Through several co-creation activities and networking sessions, this initiative connects tech hubs (incubators, accelerators, design labs etc.) and other key innovation stakeholders from both African and European countries and supports them in launching partnerships and developing intercontinental collaboration. The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership is also exploring models for technology exchange as well as organising capacity-upgrading sessions on cooperation with technology transfer offices, access to finance and EU funding, co-creation and design thinking and more. Moreover, tech hubs are being encouraged to engage in staff and start-up exchange.
The main objective of this event is twofold:
- Creating a Community of Practice in the field of technology exchange to link African and European actors in the field of technology exchange, transfer and pooling
- Supporting the development of sustainable business models for African tech hubs through capacity upgrading and exchange of practices
The sessions will be a mix of activities including workshops, exchange of best practices, networking sessions, capacity upgrading sessions.
This event, divided in two parallel sessions, will bring together around 20 tech hubs from all over Africa and around 15 tech transfer organisations (TTO) and high-level experts in technology transfer networks from Africa and Europe. Various platforms that link African and European innovation actors will also be present. Each session is accompanied by its own agenda, which can be found below.
The Emerging Valley event is organised by Samir Abdelkrim, an expert of the AEIP Board of Advisors and professional journalist. This event links innovation-related stakeholders from Europe and Africa: in 2018, it had gathered more than 100 Tech4Good African startups, 40 investors and 35 African tech hubs. In 2019, Emerging Valley is partnering with the French Development Agency and the European Commission to expand the scope of the event and its impact by increasing synergies between different programmes.
Key network partners of this initiative include Afrilabs, EBN, CCHUB, Emerging Valley, Next Society and VC4Africa.
A total of six events are organised within the framework of AEIP across Africa and Europe. After the event in Marseille, another tech hub networking event will be organised in Spring 2020. AEIP holds regular open online activities through webinars. You can follow updates on the initiative by visiting our website https://africaeurope-innovationpartnership.net/ and/or by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Africa and Europe have a long-standing political partnership and are increasingly enhancing collaboration. The importance of the Africa-Europe relations was clearly outlined by President Juncker during his State of the Union Address speech on 12 September 2018. During his speech, President Juncker announced the Africa-Europe Alliance for sustainable Investment and Jobs. The alliance calls for a move away from the donor-recipient approach to an “equals’ alliance, which aims to strengthen the role of the private sector to create jobs while strengthening the business environment. The role of start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs is highlighted as well as their ability to professionalise, innovate and internationalise. Connecting innovation ecosystems will benefit these parties as it allows access to new networks, resources and innovative impulses. The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership links very well to the goals of the Africa-Europe Alliance as it aims to work closely with key players in the private sector to realise mutual beneficial partnerships. The initiative is aimed at intermediary organisations, like incubators/accelerators, as these fulfil a key role in shaping commercial and innovation conditions and can act as notes for intercontinental collaboration between the continents.