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In order to best assist the needs of techhubs and entrepreneurs in Africa and Europe, the AEIP gatheres and continuously updates a list of more than +50 useful resources on topics such as European funding opportunities, techhub management and business models, innovative approaches to startup support and technology transfer.

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Traditional knowledge protection


As part of Activity 2 of the AEIP (Technology exchange - learning activity), a case study has been developed on Traditional knowledge protection. It discusses traditional knowledge protection, mechanisms and approaches to implementing traditional knowledge, examples of implementation of this concept, as well as, main conclusions and recommendations.


To access the case study, please click Download button below.

Reverse innovation


As part of Activity 2 of the AEIP (Technology exchange - learning activity), a case study has been developed on Reverse Innovation. It discusses the concepts of technology transfer, reverse and frugal innovations, presents case studies in several African countries on reverse innovation, and draws conclusions on strengths, drivers, challenges and weakness of this type of innovation.


To access the case study, please click Download button below.

Technology & knowledge exchange in H2020 projects


As part of Activity 2 of the AEIP (Technology exchange - learning activity), a case study has been developed on Technology & knowledge exchange in H2020 projects. It discusses the general framework of technology and knowledge exchange in H2020 projects, provides examples of cases in H2020 projects, and draws conclusions on strengths and weaknesses of technology & knowledge transfer models. 


To access the case study, please click Download button below.

Open innovation & co-creation


As part of Activity 2 of the AEIP (Technology exchange - learning activity), a case study has been developed on Open innovation & co-creation. It discusses technology transfer, theoretical frameworks related to open innovation and co-creation, provides examples of open innovation and draws conclusions on strengths and weaknesses of open innovation and co-creation platforms. 


To access the case study, please click Download button below.

Fairness in IP: summing up challenges and needs in the Africa Europe Partnership


As part of Activity 2 of the AEIP (Technology exchange - learning activity), a case study has been developed on Fairness in IP: summing up challenges and needs in the Africa Europe Partnership. It discusses importance of intellectual property, evidence of challenges in developing countries related to intellectual property, and how to use intellectual property for mutual benefits.


To access the case study, please click Download button below.

Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development : The Africa Climate Business Plan


The objective of this transport component of the broader Africa Climate Business Plan (ACBP) is to begin to mainstream climate benefits into the World Bank’s transport program for Sub-Saharan Africa, the better to assist African countries in bringing their climate change efforts to scale. It is a first step towards mainstreaming responses to the climate challenge into transport programs in Africa, and it represents the first time the Transport & ICT GP has produced a work plan for its investment and technical assistance operations that takes into account the content of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and attempts to align World Bank support to the goals stated therein.


The transport work plan under this Africa Climate Business Plan will consist of up to $3.2 billion in investments and technical assistance over the 2016-2020 period – including $2.8 billion in World Bank funds. Those investments will help to make progress on two strategic objectives: (1) improving the resilience of African transport infrastructure to climate change by defining four pillars of resilient transport; and (2) improving the carbon-efficiency of transport systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.


To access this report, please click on the link below.

Paying Attention to Technology Innovations : Experimental Evidence from Renewable Energy Markets in Africa


This paper presents results from a randomized field experiment that examined the effects of mass media campaigns informing about a new technology on the adoption decisions of households in rural Senegal. While some communities were exposed to a campaign broadcasted on national radio that informed households about the general benefits and quality of solar lamps, other communities were exposed to the same radio campaign complemented with information that singled out the most suitable lamp type for all main technological applications. The authors exploit the difference between the two campaigns to examine the extent to which certain information characteristics matter for the uptake of the technological innovation.


Results from our experiment show that information on optimal lamp types was required to increase adoption of solar lamps on the extensive margin (more people investing in lamps). However, the type-unspecific information increased adoption on the intensive margin (existing users investing in more lamps). These findings can be explained by a simple learning model of selective attention that the authors adjusted to the study setting, where households engage in home production and spend time as well as mental energy to learn about technological features that maximize returns.


To access this paper, please go here:

Building Competitive green industries: the climate and clean technology opportunity for developing countries


Climate Change Provides Developing Countries with an Opportunity to Build Local Green Industries!


Climate change will have its largest impacts on developing countries, with poor populations particularly hard hit and unable to adequately adapt (World Bank, 2013a). There are ongoing efforts to assist developing countries with efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change through the deployment of appropriate climate and clean technologies. However, the main thrust of many of these efforts is to transfer technology from the developed world without regard to local industry involvement. There is an opportunity for developing countries to pursue a complementary approach, emphasizing building up the capabilities of local firms to participate in the business opportunities surrounding climate change. Climate change therefore represents an opportunity for developing countries to build local green industries that can drive sustainable economic growth and provide environmental benefits.


Global cleantech Innovation programme: Promoting climate and clean energy technology innovation and entrepreneurship


UNIDO and GEF are working together under the Global cleantech Innovation programme (GcIp) to accelerate cleantech innovation and entrepreneurship in developing countries and economies in transition. They have prepared a programme that promotes climate and clean energy technology innovation and entrepreneurship. 


Today’s clean technology innovations will more than likely fuel the next industrial revolution that will shape tomorrow’s global economy and job market. Recognizing the vital role that SMEs play in catalyzing technology innovations, the GCIP is unique in its approach of fostering the expansion of SMEs into cleantech products and markets, thus strengthening the entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem in emerging economies and developing countries. From identification of technology innovations to their commercialization and application, the GCIP supports entrepreneurs across the innovation value chain to develop demand- driven and investment-ready climate solutions.


To learn about this programme, please go here:



Although the crucial role of business, and of business-based approaches, in development is increasingly emphasised by academics and practitioners, we lack insight into the ‘whether and how’ of viable business models, in environmental, social and economical terms. This article analyses private-sector involvement in development, including a business perspective of firm-level factors, taking the case of sustainable energy in developing countries.


Findings – Existing studies on sustainable energy take macro-economic and/or policy-oriented approaches, containing specific case studies of rural electrification and/or recommended financing/delivery models. We categorize them on two dimensions (levels of subsidies and public/private involvement) and conclude that market-based models operating without subsidies do hardly exist in theory – and also not in practice, as our study shows that companies can at best have part of their portfolio non-subsidized based on customer segmentation or require socially-oriented investors/funders.


Research limitations/applications – This exploratory study can be a starting point for further in- depth analyses.
Practical implications – The article outlines challenges faced by companies/entrepreneurs when aiming for viable business models, and provides insights to policy-makers who want to further the role of business in sustainable (energy) development.


The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2017 Report


Download your copy and discover the answers to these questions:

  • Which countries are hotbeds for creating start-ups focused on cleantech innovation?
  • Which countries are best at commercialization of established innovation?
  • Which countries are pursuing the most proactive cleantech policies and programmes around the world?
  • Which countries are lagging behind?


The Global Cleantech Innovation Index (GCII), produced in 2012, 2014, and 2017, explores where entrepreneurial clean technology companies are most likely to emerge from over the next 10 years – and why.

This edition of the GCII has been created in partnership with World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Swedish Energy Agency (SEA), and Tillväxtverket.


To access report, please go here:


Summary of the Final Conference Parallel Sessions (June 30th)


Parallel session: Cleantech challenge: discuss global challenge & innovative ways forward 


The objective of this parallel session was for the panellists (startups, corporates and organisations active in the cleantech/renewable energy space) to share their perspectives and discuss what their respective organisations are doing to address the cleantech/renewable energy global challenge. Moreover, the panellists also had the opportunity to discuss what is needed to support the growth of sustainable, ‘clean technology’ companies in both Africa and Europe.  


This session was moderated by Nekesa Were, the Director of Strategy at AfriLabs.  


Below is a summary on the key points that each speaker stated during this parallel session: 


  • Martin Garatt, the Founder and Chief Executive of Cambridge Cleantech (UK organisation that connects innovators, corporates, academics, SMEs and investors interested in cleantech innovations): 

  • At Cambridge Cleantech, they facilitate brokerage between corporates and investors interested in investing in cleantech companies. For instance, they work with deutche telecom in this area. They cover a range of domains in the cleantech sector, for instance – renewable energy, low carbon and environmental (waste management and environmental treatment). 

Summary Parallel Session: Community of practice of TTOs


This session was split into two parts.


In part 1, several case studies conducted by the community of practice were presented: The first case study focused on reverse innovation and was presented by the AEIP team. It discussed how technologies and innovation in Europe needs to be tailored to the needs in Africa in order to be revelant. A good practice example was provided of a collaboration between a German and a Nigerian partner in public health. Reverse innovation means that the technolgoies and innovations underlying final products are more important when trying to adapt these to new markets. It was recommended that more networking space for private sectors actors from both continents were created, that resilitent R&I systems and innovation-friendly environments should be promoted and that African coutries invest in R&I systems.


Summary Parallel session: Tech hub network: Lessons learnt & the road ahead


During the June 29th parallel session on the AEIP tech hub network, a brief overview was presented on the state of play of the AEIP tech hub network and the self-sustainability plan following the end of the project. A total of 42 tech hubs participated in this session. 

Below is a summary on the presentation given on the AEIP network work: 

  • The first AEIP networking event took place in September 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya; the second and third networking events were virtual events respectively in April 2020 and December 2020.  

  • A total of 127 European and African tech hubs were integrated into the AEIP tech hub network. 

  • To date, 42 partnership agreements between African and European tech hubs. 

  • The collaborations have resulted in a combination of soft-landing support services for startups (networking, mentoring, knowledge exchange, market access, branding) and best practice exchange (exchange missions, joint events, network building, talent scouting). 

In regard to the overview/self-sustainability, the following was presented: 

  • The AEIP pilot project will come to an end in September 2021 

  • Several relevant follow-on initiatives funded by the European Commission, also by African Development Bank & the European Investment Bank will continue to support tech hub networking & start-up exchanges: 

Summary of the Foodwaste session from the AEIP Preparatory Workshops 


The Foodwaste session took place within the realm of the AEIP final event on June 29th 2021. The aim of this session was to take stock of the AEIP Foodwaste Thematic Challenge and discuss good practices, lessons learnt, funding opportunities and ways forward. The AEIP Foodwaste Thematic Challenge was launched in January 2021 and connects techhubs and start-ups from Africa, Europe and India building on the already existing platform of the Europe-India Innovation Partnership. The platform includes over 80 start-ups focusing on solutions for foodwaste in various areas including smart farming, food processing, logistics and packaging, supply chain management and waste management.  


As part of the Thematic Challenge start-ups from the different regions where matched to explore mutual cooperation potentials. During the session three start-up-matches introduced their partnerships, as well as the development, the state of the art and needs thereof.  


Further, two potentially interesting funding opportunities (projects/organizations), the WFP Innovation Accelerator and LEAP4FNSSA, were introduced. More information can be found here:  


  • WFP Innovation Accelerator: 


Summary of the Cleantech Session that took place during the AEIP Preparatory Workshops on June 29th


On June 29th, 2021, a parallel session was organised on the ‘AEIP Cleantech thematic challenge update stock-taking & ways forward for continuity’. This session started off with a brief overview on the objective and state of play of the AEIP cleantech thematic challenge. Below is an overview on the presentation: 

  • The AEIP cleantech thematic challenge was launched to support tech hubs in the AEIP network and their relevant portfolio startups to collaborate in a more targeted manner.  

  • The objective was to match European and African cleantech startups working on similar technology solutions and/or to assist the startups with soft-landing partnerships in the other region. 

  • 24 African & 11 European tech hubs participated in the thematic challenge by bringing together a total of 35 cleantech startups from their portfolio to join the challenge. 

  • The general sub-topics that the European and African cleantech startups focused on: renewable energy, clean coal or smart grid & energy storage solutions.  

In addition, during the parallel session on June 29th, presentations were given by the following startups and tech hubs that are actively participating in the AEIP cleantech thematic challenge:  

Financing start-ups to build tomorrow's African economies


Africa is a land with many opportunities: investment funds and international financial institutions have made no mistake about this. Despite the fact that physical and digital infrastructure is still underdeveloped and that there is a certain volatility on markets, the increase in its population (+25% between 2007 and 2016), combined with its constantly rising gross domestic product (GDP), brings the promise of a bright future. Countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria are already considered as hubs conducive to the emergence of start-ups. How could we fail to mention here the M-Pesa mobile money platform in Kenya, a real success story for the entire continent? While there has been a big boom in African e-commerce and fintech start-ups and the related venture capital investment, other sectors are also attracting more and more attention from investors (i.e., connecting the most remote populations to solar power, e-health, e-education, etc.).


Consequently, can we see start-ups as new tools for development in Africa? We think so! It has been proved that start-ups can serve as building blocks for job creation and new economic models, and that they can meet needs which are still served little or not at all. However, entrepreneurship, which is often seen as an alternative to unemployment and low wages, can create false vocations in light of the media and operational success of certain start-ups.


Global Water Foundation Grant


Repayable grants that are given to SMMEs and local entrepreneurs to develop or make available simple technologies or services and create the necessary local markets. Local entrepreneurs often lack access to capital markets to develop a business. These grants assist them to get going. In the spirit of sustainability, the grants are repaid after a set time when the business is established.


What types of support will be offered?

ONE YOUNG WORLD Young Leaders fund


This is a programme designed to support young leaders who are tackling the Covid-19 pandemic on the frontlines.



  • Focussed on the SDG’s with a clear connection to combatting Covid-19, for example:

    • SDG 3: producing medical supplies to tackle the infection or symptoms of the virus

    • SDG 4: providing resources to disadvantaged children to support the continuation of education during school closures

    • SDG 5: protecting victims of domestic violence during lockdown

    • SDG 6: providing sanitation resources to help prevent the spread of the virus

    • SDG 8: creating work for unemployed persons in vital sectors​

  • All countries around the world

  • Producing direct, quantifiable impact

  • Apolitical in nature 

  • Must not be operated for profit

  • Impacting >500 people directly

  • Focussed on assisting the most vulnerable in society

  • Operational (or ready to start within 3 weeks of application submission)

  • Founded and/or managed by young leaders (aged approximately 18-35)

  • Applications must be submitted in the English language to be reviewed

  • Operating in accordance with WHO’s scientific guidance

DWF Foundation


The DWF Foundation (also referred to as the Foundation) is an independent charity, founded by DWF. It has the sole aim of providing funds, resources and mentoring support to help individuals, groups and communities to achieve their full potential. 


If you are a registered charity working in a country where DWF has a presence and would like to make an application for a grant, please complete the online DWF Foundation application form.


Only requests received via the online application process will be considered.


Please refer to the grant guidelines before you submit your application HERE.

Fund for Innovation in Development (FID)


The ambition of the FID is to support innovation in the service the fight against poverty and inequality. It allows innovators from all types of organizations – research institutions, NGOs, governments, companies – to test new ideas, experiment and demonstrate what works on the basis of proven scientific evaluation approaches, and scale the most effective solutions with the most positive and lasting impact. FID offers flexible financing via staged grants for emerging or growing innovations.


The FID deploys different stages of funding, depending on the level of maturity of the innovation

  • Stage 0: Prepare grants -These grants support the development of proposals for Stage 1, 2 or 3 they go up to €50K
  • Stage 1: Pilot - Pilot stage of innovations that are early in development and need real-world testing to refine the basic model and establish the viability of the innovation at small scale. The grants go up to €200K
  • Stage 2: Test and Position for Scale - The further testing and continued growth of innovations to assess the likelihood that they can achieve both impact and viability at a larger scale. The grants go up to €1.5M
  • Stage 3: Transition to Scale - Transition of rigorously tested and validated solutions to widespread scaling. The grants go up to €4M.
  • Transforming Public Policy - Innovations that have reached a mature stage and that are intended to be highly catalytic for public policy transformations. The grants go up to €150K.


Choose Africa


AFD Group is convinced that start-ups play an essential role in developing innovative solutions that meet the needs of developing and emerging countries. They have real potential in terms of job creation and impacts on Africa’s development. It is for this reason that AFD and PROPARCO combine financing, resources and their expertise to support African entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ecosystems. They do so through three financing solutions:


1) The Digital Africa funds for start-ups at seed stage (SEED FINANCING);

2) VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT Via local partner funds;



Click here to apply and find more information about these financing options. 


AEIP Report on building capacities on ‘Sustainable Business Modelling for Cleantech’


This document has been developed in the framework of the capacity upgrading activities delivered as part of the AEIP project.


By exploring this document readers can expect to gain a clear understanding of:

• How to capitalise on the green and social values that motivate and guide green start-ups in delivering sustainable innovations?

• How to support the process of growing a business idea to convert it into a profitable and sustainability-oriented business models innovation in cleantech?

• How to improve the sustainability profile of an existing business idea?

• How to integrate brainstorming from multiple stakeholders and build a business case


The following sections are organised following the same structure of the “Sustainable Business Modelling for Cleantech” webinar. A first section presents a brief overview of the relevance of sustainable business models patterns on innovation activities. Section two includes a brief description of the case study used during the webinar session. A third section describes the activities carried out during the workshop, and key results from the practical exercise implemented. A fourth and final section includes references and a brief vitae of the team behind the preparation and delivery of the workshop.


To access the report, please click Download below.

AEIP Handbook on building capacities on Corporate Innovation


Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) would like to share our handbook on on building capacities on Corporate Innovation!


Based on the needs assessment done at the start of the AEIP project, capacity upgrading activities will be implemented in light of enhancing individual, organizational and institutional knowledge & skills. This capacity upgrading targets African entrepreneurs, tech hubs and technology transfer actors, in a bid to facilitate technology and innovation partnerships between EU and Africa. The first training module specifically looked at the landscape of EU funding opportunities specifically designed to support the strengthening of African incubators/accelerators, startups and entrepreneurs. The second training focused on developing sustainable business models. The 3rd training session seeks to deep dive into matters of financing for start-ups. The 4th training focused on Technology Transfer Offices.


The 5th training topic was “Driving Corporate Innovation in Africa: Key Challenges and Opportunities”. It was organized in collaboration with Co-Creation Hub (Cc-Hub). Cc-Hub is Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multi-functional space where work to catalyse creative social tech ventures take place. 


AEIP Handbook on building capacities of African Technology Transfer Offices


Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) would like to share our handbook on building capacities of African Technology Transfer Offices!


As part of the AEIP project and based on the need assessment done at the start of the project, capacity upgrading activities will be implemented in light of enhancing individual, organizational and institutional knowledge & skills. This capacity upgrading targets African entrepreneurs, tech hubs and technology transfer actors, in a bid to facilitate technology and innovation partnerships between EU and Africa. The first training module specifically looked at the landscape of EU funding opportunities specifically designed to support the strengthening of African incubators/accelerators, startups and entrepreneurs. The second training in partnership with Afric’Innov focused on developing sustainable business models.The 3rd training session seeks to deep dive into matters of financing for start-ups with a particular focus to private funding in partnership with VC4A.


AEIP Handbook on accelerating innovation in a time of a crisis : a tech hub effort


Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) would like to share our handbook on accelerating innovation in a time of a crisis : a tech hub effort!


A number of capacity upgrading sessions are developed as part of the AEIP project in light of enhancing the abilities of the African start-up and entrepreneurial eco-system to engage in collaborative activities with their EU counterparts. Capacity upgrading activities are also meant to strengthen the African innovation eco-systems on the basis of mutual exchange and learning with European counterparts.


AEIP handbook on developing sustainable business models


Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) would like to share our handbook on developing sustainable business models! It looks at a context where many African tech hubs are still quite young and do not yet have a stabilized business plan. 


This training is delivered by the European Commission in partnership with Afric’Innov1, a leading African incubator network.


This capacity upgrading module and handbook is mainly of interest to African stakeholders wishing to refine the business model of their tech hubs based on practical experience by others practitioners in the field. By exploring the handbook readers can expect to learn about :

• matching the support services provided effectively with the entrepreneurs and startups’ needs over time ;

• fundraising for tech hubs ;

• sourcing projects and entrepreneurs.


To access the handbook, please click Download below.

The Foundations of Corporate Innovation in the Digital Age


The need to adopt digital technologies is forcing companies to re-think their approach to corporate innovation. For several decades, starting in the 1960s, innovation was concentrated in R&D centers at large firms, which gave those firms a competitive advantage in setting the direction of innovation and harvesting its benefits. However, starting in the 1990s, this model began to be disrupted by the confluence of new digital technologies, venture capital and increasingly-fast consumer adoption of new technologies. Companies started to build innovation ecosystems that evolved into an “open innovation” model. This was particularly valuable because many digital technologies are general- purpose, and thus the best experts are often outside the firm, and in other industries.


As new digital technologies are introduced at ever-faster rates, there will increasingly be opportunities to capture new markets and unseat incumbents. For large corporations, this scenario is double-edged; while they have an opportunity to unseat others, they also face the risk of being unseated themselves.


Digital technologies don’t just threaten large corporations, they can also be a source of immense value-creation. Thus, since adoption rates for new technologies have accelerated in recent decades, there is increased potential for rapid value-creation and value-capture for firms that can bring innovative solutions to market.


How to manage your return on investment in innovation?


Any CTO or Innovation Leader will be very familiar with the follow- ing question from the CEO. It goes something like “You know I’m fully committed to innovation... but is all of our investment really necessary? Our competitors seem to be growing as fast as us, yet they spend less of their revenue on R&D than we do. Can you assure me that we’re really getting the best return on our innova- tion spend?”

What might seem at first sight to be a straightforward question can be quite difficult to answer. There are numerous complications around what we really mean by ‘Innovation’, ‘Investment’ and ‘Return’, and indeed what effective management means in this context, such as:

  • What should we include and exclude in ‘innovation investment?’

  • What types of value do we care about?

  • Which methods should we use to assess value?

  • What’s the best way to communicate the results?

    In this article we explore the challenges of managing the Return On Investment (ROI) of innovation, and provide some examples of good practice and key factors for success.

If you are interested in this article, please go here:

If you want to learn on corporate innovation, please check out our webinar materials "Driving corporate innovation in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities".


More than money: The exponential impact of academic technology transfer


Are you interested to learn about the impact of academic technology transfer? Check out the research paper "More than money: the exponential impact of academic technology transfer" by McDevitt et al.


Please read the abstract of the research paper:

Academic technology transfer in its current form began with the passage of the Bayh‐Dole Act in 1980, which allowed universities to retain ownership of federally funded intellectual property. Since that time, a profession has evolved that has transformed how inventions arising in universities are treated, resulting in significant impact to US society. While there have been a number of articles highlighting benefits of technology transfer, now, more than at any other time since the Bayh‐Dole Act was passed, the profession and the impacts of this groundbreaking legislation have come under intense scrutiny. This article serves as an examination of the many positive benefits and evolution, both financial and intrinsic, provided by academic invention and technology transfer.


To access the paper, please go here.


If you want to learn more on how to empower Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation, please check our webinar materials here.

University Technology Transfer: What It Is and How to Do It


Check out an interesting book of Tom Hockaday "University Technology Transfer: What It Is and How to Do It". What is it about?


How do we transfer the brilliance of university research results into new products, services, and medicines to benefit society?


University research is creating the technologies of tomorrow in the fields of medicine, engineering, information technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. These early-stage technologies need investment from existing and new businesses to benefit society.


But how do we connect university research outputs with business and investors?


This process, Tom Hockaday explains, is what university technology transfer is all about: identifying, protecting, and marketing university research outputs in order to shift opportunities from the university into business.


In this detailed introductory book—a comprehensive overview of and guide to the subject—Hockaday, an internationally recognized technology transfer expert, offers up his insider observations, opinions, and suggestions about university technology transfer. He also explains how to develop, strategically operate, and fund university technology transfer offices while behaving in accordance with the central mission of the university.


AEIP webinar | Why Intellectual Property matters, from African tech hub perspective


On 23rd March 2021, the AEIP together with Laura Macdonald, Chief Executive of the ASTP knowledge transfer network, organised a webinar "Why Intellectual Property matters, from African tech hub perspective". 


During the conversation, Laura presented a range of activities delivered by ASTP, and the value for knowledge transfer professionals in collaborating through the network approach. In addition, one of ASTPs African members shared experience working with the network. Participants of the webinar were offered the possibility to obtain a temporary digital membership to ASTP platform free of cost.


The recording of the webinar is available below. If you want to see the presentation slides used during the webinar, please click Download button below.


Case studies in funding innovation


The book "Case studies in funding innovation" illuminates some of the ways that organisations might embrace supporting breakthrough ideas as part of funding portfolio.


The innovation processes described in the cases here are inherently complex, full of stops and starts, iterations, and failures. And one of the clearest takeaways looking across the sto- ries is that there is simply no straightforward recipe for funding breakthrough ideas. But the cases do help to illustrate an emerging set of “innovation funding principles” that can allow funders to better identify and support early- stage, high-risk, high-reward projects:


• Seek out ideas from new places. Finding ideas with the potential to create lasting transformation means reaching beyond the usual suspects to find promising new solutions.

• Select ideas to support based on their poten- tial for transformation. As Eric Toone, vice- provost and director of the Duke University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, explains, “When you’re doing innovation,the first question is not ‘Is this going to work?’ but rather, ‘If it works, would it matter?’”

• Provide risk capital. Many nonprofits and social activists operate with limited resources and are so focused on accomplishing their goals that they have little time and money available to experiment with new ideas. Providing flexible, unrestricted financing that can be used to try new approaches can be critical to promoting innovation.

The Impact of the Legal Environment on Venture Capital and Private Equity in Africa - Empirical Evidence


Using a novel dataset, Jonathan Adongo empirically assessed the impact of the legal environment on venture capital and private equity activity across 50 African countries between 2004 and 2010. Preliminary results indicate that a better legal environment increases market entry by investors and entrepreneurs. While seed, start-up or early stage venture capital increases with better rule of law, expansion stage venture capital decreases and private equity is practically zero. In addition, both venture capital and private equity increase where strength of property rights is weaker. These findings suggest that venture capital substitutes for debt financing from other sources e.g. banks, in weaker legal environments.


To access the article, please click Download below.


Last year, the AEIP organised a series of webinars "Accelerating innovation in a time of crisis: a tech-hub effort". If you are interested, please check this webpage:


Africa Economic Brief - Financing for innovation: what can be done for African SMEs?


Financing SMEs is a challenge all around the globe. In Africa, this challenge is compounded by several deep-rooted issues which pertain both to the environment in which firms are working, as well as to the lack of breadth and depth of financial markets. When it comes to financing innovative firms, these issues are even more acute given the perceived risks they carry. On the firm’s side, many are unable to find adequate ways of promoting and presenting their innovative projects to obtain financing. On the financial infrastructure side, more than average caution is exercised by financiers which face many uncertainties and market failures that prevent them from engaging in financing.


The paper reviews the theory underpinning such issues in the context of innovative firms and puts forward novel ways to address them, including SME exchanges, crowdfunding, the role of development partners and business angels.


Please click Download below to read the paper from the Africa Economic Brief.


Last year, the AEIP organised a series of webinars "Accelerating innovation in a time of crisis: a tech-hub effort". If you are interested, please check this webpage:

CFC’s Open Call for Proposals - Funding Innovation


The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) is seeking applications for financing projects along the commodity value chains. CFC provides a range of financial and technical instruments to support projects proposed by SMEs/enterprises, cooperatives, and institutions along the entire commodity value chain in its member countries.


CFC follows a more human and environment-centered approach in business. Such business activities are expected to cover all segments of the value chain (including production, processing, financing, marketing, research etc.). This includes services and support functions, that help all participants in the process of value generation to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of its poorest participants at the bottom of the pyramid.


The support is offered mainly through loans for equipment, working capital or trade finance to invest in productivity and value chain upgradations. The CFC seeks applications of projects that have reached a state of economic, social and environmental sustainability. These applications should clearly show operational and financial viability, with a proven track record. Women entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.


INNO4COV-19 Open Call


INNO4COV-19 Open Call aims to provide financial support to companies with the goal of accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative solutions that tackle COVID-19 and that have already been validated in lab environments (TRL6 or higher).


Eligibility criteria:

Companies or small consortia of companies established in one of the EU Member States or H2020 associated countries.
The sectors of focus may include healthcare / medicine / biotech / biopharma, and IT-related topics (e.g. robotics, automation, electronics, nanotech, etc).


What we offer:

Financial support
Up to EUR 100,000 (100% of the total cost of the project)

Tailored support
Guidance from a network of experts at a technical, business and regulatory level for bringing your innovation to the market

Access to specific facilities and infrastructure
Providing added value to your innovations

Media exposure
Highlights through our network


Key dates

We will consider applications in two different rounds.

Deadline: 30/11/2020 Closed- Funding decision: +40days

Deadline: 30/04/2021 (17h00 CET) – Funding decision: +40days

Techstart_Sustainability Challenge


The techstars_ Sustainability Challenge is Calling Startups Ready to Tackle the Planet's Toughest Problems!


We're looking for breakthrough solutions and companies to make meaningful change.


Climate change is demanding urgent action. We need deep and meaningful collaboration. The Techstars Sustainability Challenge brings together founders and industry leaders in sustainability. In this equity-free challenge, we will connect the most promising startups and innovators with our industry-leading corporate partners to build out real-world solutions. It's innovation with impact, powered by Techstars.


Read more about the challenge and find out how to submit your application by clicking here.

Shaping the future of incubation - EBN report


The entrepreneurial solutions developed today are leveraging innovations to help stabilize the effects of the pandemic. EU|BICs have a long history in supporting founders and innovation-based startups. From their origins till today, EU|BICs have delivered on their original mandate: to drive regional economic development. EU|BICs remain catalysts for entrepreneurship and innovation, providing tailored support services to entrepreneurs according to their needs, challenges and stages of development. 


In 2019, EU|BICs actively supported close to 21,000 companies and helped enterprises create close to 20,000 jobs. However, like any other business, the global pandemic is forcing business support organisations and the support services they provide to be open to change. While the role of support organisations remains relevant during the present coronavirus pandemic, one key question is: how will the Covid-19 crisis shape the future of incubation and business counselling?


While it is hard to predict the future, we can try to understand what lies ahead by analysing current trends. EBN, in collaboration with the CAST network, has recently promoted a survey among business support organisations collecting data on the challenges faced as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak.  By analysing the data, we were able to identify key solutions to guarantee business continuity.


GLOBAL EDTECH STARTUP AWARDS: Accelerate your growth with international recognition


Global EdTech Startups Awards (GESAwards) is an initiative led by a group of leading education innovation organizations from across the world. 
The Awards will identify, showcase and recognize the world's most promising EdTech startups of the year.


March 2021: Applications Open to general & special tracks

August 30, 2021: Deadline for application submission

Aug-Nov 2021: Regional semifinals competitions events

January 2022: Global Finals, London


2021 Semifinals Locations: 

Tel Aviv • Tokyo • Paris • Helsinki • Frankfurt • Cape Town • Boston • Monterrey • Curitiba • Delhi • London • Milan • Madrid • Moscow • Accra • San Francisco • Abuja • Singapore



The product or service will be judged according to the following criteria

1. Address a clear pain point, relevant to the market 
2. Provide an innovative pedagogical approach 
3. Have an outstanding user experience 
4. Show potential for growth in its user base 
5. Operate in the context of a sustainable business model

Learn more and apply here:

AEIP webinar: Startup Support & Fundraising: PreparingTech Hub Managers to be financial Mentors


On the 27th of January 2021, the AEIP, in partnership with the Ventures Platform, organised a webinar “Startup fundraising and Preparing tech hub managers to be Financial Mentors”. This webinar is a follow-up from the training provided by the AEIP in June 2020 “Acceleration innovation in times of crisis”. Preparing Hub managers to be financial Mentors and understanding what a financial mentor is. The topics which have been discussed during the webinar include:

AEIP webinar: How to promote female entrepreneurship through tech-hub support


On the 26th of January 2021, the AEIP, in partnership with F360, organised a webinar for tech hub representatives and policy makers. The webinar focused on how to promote female entrepreneurship through tech hub support, building capacities of tech hubs and startups to ensure gender equity.


Participants explored different themes of gender equalisation in the African tech space (including the drivers and challenges). The key questions which have been discussed are the following:

Pitch Competition at this year’s EU-Startups Summit (April 28-30)

competition "The Aggregator 2020"

As announced a few days ago, EU-Startups is going to host this year’s edition of the EU-Startups Summit as an online event on April 28-30. They will have inspiring speakers like Glovo CEO Oscar Pierre, Unbabel CEO Vasco Pedro, HolaLuz founder Carlota Pi (and many more!), great networking opportunities, but most importantly: An exciting Pitch Competition with 15 of Europe’s most promising early-stage startups!


As now they are re-opening the application phase for our annual pitch competition, their goal is to find and showcase Europe’s best seed and pre-seed startups out there! For this year’s pitch competition, they expect a total of about 1,000 applications.


Enygma Ventures' program to help support new and existing businesses


In partnership with Startup Circles, Enygma Ventures have launched a program to help support new and existing businesses that are focused on solving issues and systemic problems to help build a new world going forward. They provide either seed funding or mentoring scholarships to those selected. 

What Are We Looking For?

  • Businesses that are focused on solving problems for Southern Africa (SADC). The business must either be based or serve/operate in the region. 

  • The idea/business must be scalable and able to operate on a large scale or have a large addressable market. 

  • For profit ideas/businesses. We are not able to support charitable concepts at this time. 

  • Both male and female applicants. Please note, we will always have a gender inclusion bias and so will be more interested in ideas that have equality at their heart.

If Selected What will you Get?

  • If you are at the ideation stage you will likely first be put through the Startup Circles programme. This will provide you with world class mentorship, training and the help to validate your business quickly and efficiently. 

  • If you are an existing business and have validated your concept - equity seed funding will be available. 

  • There is the possibility of receiving both mentoring, education and seed funding.

TTO Community of Practice 3rd Meeting


On December 8th, approximately 30 African and European members of Community of Practice for knowledge transfer held their 3rd meeting. The introduction was focusing on the future opportunities in Horizon Europe to better link the two continents, in particular in the field of Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment  or Health, but also  Digital, Industry and Space

AEIP Event 5: Tech Hub Networking Event


The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership fifth event (AEIP Event 5) integrated a new cohort of 11 African and 11 European tech hubs (cohort 2) that have yet to participate in any of the AEIP networking events. In addition, 9 (cohort 1) tech hubs (5 from Africa and 4 from Europe) were invited to this networking event due to their active involvement in the AEIP tech hub cleantech challenge as well as their continued engagement and collaborative activities with tech hubs in the network.


The goal of this networking event was to support participating tech hubs to internationalise faster and gain a deeper understanding of the innovation ecosystems in Africa or Europe, respectively. The programme focused on interactions between tech hub participants through joint plenaries and breakout sessions, with the AEIP team monitoring discussions and facilitating as needed. The tech hubs were matched to counterparts from the other region and placed in breakout rooms during the event in order for them to get to develop and outline envisaged collaborative activities they could collaborate on i.e., form soft-landing partnerships, exchange on best practices, apply for joint funding opportunities, and connect to startups from the other continent.




The Jacobs Startup Competition is an international competition for student entrepreneurs from all over the world - organized entirely by students. Every year, we welcome teams from all over the world, give them access to a large network of founders, mentors and experts, and provide a platform to pitch their ideas to judges and investors, according to our slogan - dare to stand out!


We offer a wide range of mentorship, webinars, workshops and coaching opportunities to our participants in order to support them in founding their own business in the best way possible. Therefore, we appreciate anyone who would like to offer their expertise, time and experience – be it teaching, working for a large multinational corporation or founding their own startup – and support our participants throughout the competition.


Additionally, as JSC is entirely student-run, we rely solely on sponsors and are always looking for financial support. We offer a wide range of opportunities for advertisement and cooperation and are more than happy to discuss individualized partnerships.








  • Many special prizes, including incubator programs and individual coaching sessions.

  • Access to a large network of founders, mentors and experts.

EU-Startups Summit 2021

EU startup summit


The EU-Startups Summit is the annual flagship event of - the leading online publication about startups in Europe. At the event we showcase a selection of Europe's hottest startups and come together to learn from some of the most successful European entrepreneurs of our time!


The EU-Startups Summit 2021 will gather over 1,500 founders, startup enthusiasts, corporates, angel investors, VCs, and media from across Europe. The two-day event is a great opportunity for networking, and a meeting point for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors who are aiming to build international tech companies. We’ll have fireside chats with internationally successful founders, great networking opportunities (with a dedicated networkink app), workshops, and an exciting pitch competition with 20 startup teams – selected from about 1,000 applicants!

Competition is with a prize package worth €75,000.

The EU-Startups Summit will also gather hundreds of Europe’s leading Venture Capital investors, business angels and accelerators. As a startup, you can directly engage with them, and we are proud to have one of the best startup-investor ratios of any startup event out there.


The Speakers

In total, we’ll welcome about 70 high-profile speakers (successful entrepreneurs, investors, etc.) on stage at next year’s EU-Startups Summit. More info will be announced soon!


Global Meetup 2021


Join 600 startups, corporates, and investors in solving 21st century societal challenges!

At the Global Meetup we leverage the power of our worldwide network, to scale selected promising innovations from 1M to 100M in valuation. Because together we can solve 21st century challenges.



By creating memorable experiences at unique locations, we facilitate business connections that last.



Successfully scaling innovations is all about people. We only invite those who want to collaborate on a global scale.



Meet selected changemakers from all parts of the world. From Ouagadougou to Berlin, and Miami to Antananarivo.


Connect with fellow leading experts in your industry:


Read more here: