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.
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: https://www.adlittle.com/sites/default/files/prism/ROI.PDF
If you want to learn on corporate innovation, please check out our webinar materials "Driving corporate innovation in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities".
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.
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.
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.
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: https://africaeurope-innovationpartnership.net/resources/combined-presentations-experts-workshop-series-accelerating-innovation-times-crisis-tech
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: https://africaeurope-innovationpartnership.net/resources/combined-presentations-experts-workshop-series-accelerating-innovation-times-crisis-tech
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 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).
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:
Up to EUR 100,000 (100% of the total cost of the project)
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
Highlights through our network
We will consider applications in two different rounds.
NOVEMBER 2020 ROUND
Deadline: 30/11/2020 Closed- Funding decision: +40days
APRIL 2021 ROUND
Deadline: 30/04/2021 (17h00 CET) – Funding decision: +40days
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.
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 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: https://www.globaledtechawards.org
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
FIRST PRIZE - 3000 €
SECOND PRIZE - 1000 €
THIRD PRIZE - 500 €
Many special prizes, including incubator programs and individual coaching sessions.
Access to a large network of founders, mentors and experts.
The EU-Startups Summit is the annual flagship event of EU-Startups.com - 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.
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!
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.
UNIQUE SETTING, DEEPER CONNECTIONS
By creating memorable experiences at unique locations, we facilitate business connections that last.
FUN PEOPLE, SERIOUS BUSINESS
Successfully scaling innovations is all about people. We only invite those who want to collaborate on a global scale.
UNUSUAL SUSPECTS, A TRUE GLOBAL MELTING POT
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:
- ENERGY TRANSITION & CLEANTECH
- FOOD, WATER & AGRICULTURE
- FINANCE & INSURANCE
- HEALTH & CARE
- SMART CITIES, MOBILITY & LOGISTICS
- INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING & AUTOMATION
- SECURITY, PEACE & JUSTICE
Read more here: https://getinthering.co/gm2021/
Following the launching of the H2020 Africa Green Deal call by the European Commission, the AEIP organised a series of webinars to enlighten innovation actors from Africa and Europe on the benefits of participating in a H2020 call as well as on the specifics of the Green Deal Africa Call.
The first webinar took place on 1st December 2020. It was attended by over 40 organisations, mostly from Africa. The webinar informed participants about the application procedure for the H2020 calls, advised on how to build a consortia and provided insights into specifics of the H2020 calls. The presentation of the Green Deal Africa call was given by two Senior Officials of the European commission: Dr. Piero Venturi, Science Counsellor to the African Union, Delegation of the European Union to the African Union; and Philippe Schild, European Commission, DG RTD.
During the weekend of 27, 28, and 29 November the third edition of the Hackathon for Good takes place. This edition is the first edition that is completely online. Business pioneers, tech talents & experts in artificial intelligence, big data and coding are challenged to develop data solutions for a better world. They will work on challenges by Municipality of The Hague, the Police, EVE & The Hague Legal Tech Alliance.
The Hackathon for Good - The Hague is hosted by the Municipality of The Hague and organised by The Hague Tech, in close collaboration with the Hague innovation ecosystems consisting of the hubs: The Hague Security Delta, The Hague Humanity Hub, and the programs YES! Delft, WorldStartup, Data Science Initiative, and Digital Competence & Education Center. During the weekend of 27, 28, and 29 November, talent from all over the world develop innovative solutions for global social issues. Each team works on a data solution for one of the participating organisations. The total prize money is € 3,500.
To apply, please go here: https://hackathonforgood.org/hackathons/the-hague
About Hackathon for Good The Hague:
The AEIP and CcHub organised a workshop series on the 8th, 10th and 15th September 2020 on "Driving corporate innovation in Africa: Challenges and Opportunties". This workshop targeted corporate organisations and tech hubs interested in learning about corporate innovation, fostering their relationships and sharing their experiences in implementing corporate innovation activities. Specifically, the workshops aimed at:
- Driving understanding and equity in an innovation agenda within organisations
- Establishing structures and processes for implementation of corporate innovation
- Evaluating the return on investment of support for corporate innovation; and
- How to tailor tech-hub service offering to corporates
Presentations were made by seasoned experts from Africa and Europe. The attached document is a workshop proceeding of the presentations of the different experts, and contains the following presentations:
Apply to the Creating Hope in Conflict: a Humanitarian Grand Challenge program to receive funding of up to $250,000 for new ideas, and up to $3,000,000 for proven solutions ready to scale up, as well as mentorship, resources and ongoing supports.
Today, over 168 million people require humanitarian assistance. Millions of the most vulnerable people in conflict zones are currently unreachable by traditional humanitarian aid delivery. As the length and complexity of armed conflicts increase, it is progressively more difficult to reach affected people in insecure areas with life-saving and life-improving humanitarian assistance.
We’re looking to fund and accelerate solutions to reach the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people in conflict-generated humanitarian crises. We seek solutions that have the potential to create wider, transformative changes within the humanitarian sector in order to provide: safe water and sanitation; energy; life-saving information; and health supplies and services to help conflict-affected people.
Further details about our application review process can be found here.
The Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Union (EU) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have launched the “COVID-19-relevant Medical and Pharmaceutical Products” (CMPP) project.
CMPP is calling for project proposals from companies and initiatives (e.g. university and national technology initiatives) in SADC with the objective to increase the local production of affordable and innovative Covid-19-relevant medical and pharmaceutical products. The deadline for submission of applications is August 24 2020.
Combined presentations of experts for the workshop series on "Accelerating Innovation in times of crisis: a tech hub effort"
Following the workshop series organised by the Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) and VC4A on the 8th, 11th and 15th of June 2020 to African tech hubs, the attached material contains the presentations made by the different experts during the online workshops.
The training targeted African tech hubs that offer acceleration services, and sought to enhance the hubs capacities to offer sustainable and effective acceleration programs despite the covid-19 crisis. The objectives of the training included:
AEIP training: Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation, Session 4: Managing agreement and conflict of interest in Technology Transfer
On July 9th 2020, the fourth and last session of the AEIP training “Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation” took place. Central goal was to increase the ability to manage conflict of interest by learning the tools to organise and manage agreement.
The following aspects were discussed:
-Overview of key agreements
-Key clauses to look out for in agreements
AEIP training: Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation, Session 3: Overview on establishing and growing a TTO
On July 7th 2020, the third session of the AEIP training “Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation” took place. Central goal was to increase the ability to assess the need for a TTO function and initiate planning for the establishment of a TTO.
The following aspects were discussed:
-Drivers for establishing a TT function
AEIP training: Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation, Session 2: Intellectual Property basics
On July 2nd 2020, the second session of the AEIP training “Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation” took place. Central goal was to increase the understanding of the value of IP and the ability to identify different types of IP, their mechanism of protection and when to apply them. The following aspects were discussed:
-Types of IP and associated mechanisms of protection
-Which type of IP to use when
AEIP training: Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation, Session 1: Managing Impact of Research!
On 30th June 2020, the first session of the AEIP training "Empowering Technology Transfer Organisations as key agents of innovation" was organised. The session was devoted to the discussion on managing impact of research. The following topics have been discussed:
-Role of Research Institutions
-Value of Research
-Knowledge dissemination for Societal Impact
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is inviting to apply to the call “Innovative Ideas and Technologies vs. COVID-19 and beyond” organized by its global network of Investment and Technology Promotion Offices.
The international contest aims to identify the most innovative solutions that are tackling the effects of COVID-19 in developing countries and make their economies more resilient, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The call is open to companies, startups, universities, incubators, research and technology centres and other potential applicants.
Additional info on the initiative can be found on the dedicated website: https://www.unido.org/global-call-itpos
Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2020 filling in this form.
The Award Ceremony will be held in live streaming on 14 July 2020. Among other benefits, the winners will be given the opportunity to showcase their winning proposals at EuroScience Open Forum 2020 in Italy and EXPO Dubai 2021.
The WAZIHUB project, funded by the European Commission under H2020 program, was designed to exploit IoT potential and Big-Data technologies best-practices through the involvement of innovators. The project aims to enable the creation of a network of Open Hubs throughout Africa where:
1. Entrepreneurs and developers can be trained,
2. Innovative IoT technology solutions can be adapted,
3. New business can rise to match local service needs.
The SFIC Africa Task Force strategic report is an analysis and orientation document expressing the views of the delegations of 11 European countries (AT, BE, DE, FI, FR, EE, ES, HU, MT, NO, and PT) and the European Commission on policy for collaboration with Africa in relation to various aspects of research, innovation and higher education.
The Strategic Forum for International Cooperation (SFIC) is a preparatory body of the Council of the EU that works on the development of the European Research Area. Its Africa Task Force, coordinated by Spain, was established with the goal of taking advantage of the political momentum in order to understand, enhance and develop policy related to collaboration with Africa.
The report was compiled in consultation with over 40 European, African and international stakeholders, beyond the European national delegations and the European Commission, in March 2020 at the first SFIC Africa Strategic Workshop in Brussels. The different stakeholders’ views have been incorporated into the document.
The SFIC Africa Task Force strategic report is structured as follows:
- Section 1. Motivation outlines the main drives for working on this paper at this point in time.
- Section 2. Analysis summarises the current activities and priorities, highlights remarkable initiatives, and enumerates some constraints that need to be mitigated in future collaborations.
Think of Africa and surely you will think of breathtaking natural landscapes, astounding biodiversity and of rich cultural and linguistic heritage. But Africa has also long been brimming with scientific and technological promise. This publication highlights some of many fascinating projects through which the EU and Africa are currently innovating side by side. Each one, an opportunity to learn from one another: paving the way for deeper, mutually beneficial cooperation in the future.
The research set out in this booklet is revealing what we can learn from traditional African medicines, how we can collaborate to tap into gamma ray astronomy, how we can harness the desert sun to produce clean energy and even how we can bring Africa’s culinary diversity to European markets.
Deadline: 19 April 2020 - Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation - WHO, WIPO, WTO Executive Course on the intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade
The purpose of this course is to give you an overview of the interplay between the distinct policy domains of health, trade and intellectual property. The course describes how they affect access to, and influence innovation in medical technologies. The course was developed by, and draws together the respective areas of expertise of the World Health Organization (WHO), WIPO and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is based on the joint WHO, WIPO, WTO Study Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation.
Curriculum: The executive level course consists of the following topics and a final exam:
- Policy context for action on innovation and access
- Issues on access from a public health perspective
- Health systems-related determinants of access
- Issues on innovation and public health with a focus on neglected diseases
- The role of intellectual property in innovation and access
- Trade related issues and access to health-related products
Training material from the second AEIP event: Supporting innovative entrepreneurship in Francophone Africa
The second AEIP event was held on the 2nd - 5th December 2019 in Marseille, France. During that event the capacity upgrading training on building sustainable business models for tech hubs was provided.
Participants of the training gained practical insights in the following areas:
• Matching the tech hub support services with the entrepreneurs and startups’ needs over time
• Fundraising for tech hubs
• Sourcing projects and entrepreneurs
The booklet of Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership presents activities and importance of the initiative for both continents. It outlines the AEIP approach and innovation system strategy to build on the strongest potential of new partnerships and collaboration. Have a look at testimonies of participants and stakeholders involved! In order to access the booklet please download the file below.
Call for Applications: International Mentoring for Technology Businesses with a focus on Female Empowerment
enpact e.V. will run a new 8-month mentoring programme for technology businesses from Africa and Europe. The programme aims to strengthen technology focus and foster international partnerships between technology businesses from Africa and Europe.
It is another initiative under the Strategic Partnership Digital Africa (SPDA) - a network of the German development cooperation and over 200 European companies with the aim to initiate innovative public-private projects in African countries - funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The programme target group are businesses with a
special focus on the support of women, either directly (with special programmes targeting women as employees on all levels - especially in executive positions) or indirectly with products and services that are especially designed for women empowerment.
The programme offers coaching and mentoring for founders by international mentors to strengthen their business model, growth strategy, roadmap, international network and partnerships. 15 companies will be selected to participate in the programme, which will include:
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) has launched a pilot initiative with the aim of fostering Africa / Europe cooperation in innovation. The Africa Europe Innovation Partnership initiative supports the creation of partnerships between tech hubs and incubators in different countries. Within the framework of the project, capacity building activities are proposed to increase knowledge of the European institutions and to support entrepreneurs and tech hubs. Finally, the project aims to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa and generate partnerships on new technologies between the EU and Africa. The main objective of the webinar is to present the existing EU funding programs which are accessible to entrepreneurs and tech hubs. A session of "questions / answers" is planned to answer all the questions that the subject could raise.The webinar focused on four main categories of EU programmes and actions:
- Horizon 2020 programme;
- European Investment Bank;
- Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid prize; and
- European development policy or EuropeAid.
For those who were not able to attend, the PPT presentation and a registration of the webinar can be found below in English. The French version can be found here.
This funding opportunity is for African start-ups and social enterprises.
For the African tech hubs, this funding scheme is a great opportunity for your portfolio start-ups to submit a proposal if they are addressing pressing social challenges in concordance with the African Union 2063 Agenda, specifically on education and health care challenges.
Seed funding value size: 100 000 USD
Eligibility Criteria: You need to be African or based in Africa to apply. You need to be a student or 35 years or below as of January 31 2020 to be eligible.
This funding opportunity is for European start-ups and SMEs.
We are pleased to share with you that the INNOWIDE 2nd Call for applications for the Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) – is open for applications. The INNOWWIDE programme helps innovative European SMEs gain access to new international markets by funding viability assessment projects to be deployed in cooperation with local stakeholders around the world.
The population boom in West African countries is bringing more and more young people into a labor market that cannot yet absorb them. Many of these young people are now turning to entrepreneurship as a source of employment. This, however, often takes the form of subsistence and informal entrepreneurship.
Unlike growth and innovative entrepreneurship, this form of entrepreneurship is not capable of generating sustainable jobs and therefore cannot act as an engine for economic development.
Innovative entrepreneurship is proven to be a determining factor of growth: it stimulates productivity, creates jobs and helps improve citizens’ quality of life. So-called ‘growth entrepreneurs’ are the drivers behind this innovation and they contribute to their countries’ economic and social development. As Joseph Schumpeter once said, ”innovation is the driving force of economic progress, and entrepreneurs are the agents of innovation.”
Academic paper on the Introduction to supporting entrepreneurs through the lenses of academic research. Article writen by Didier Chabaud, Karim Messeghem, Sylvie Sammut and available in French language only.
After encouraging the creation of companies based on the results of public research, the challenge for public authorities is now more to grow these companies to benefit the national economy from their high potential. This article examines the role that support can play in the growth of these businesses. It draws on the analysis of ten years of operation of a public incubator, Languedoc-Roussillon Incubation, to propose avenues for action. Article is available in French language only.
Academic paper on the entrepreneur-support structure relationship through various theoretical models from management sciences
This contribution offers a modelization of the entrepreneurial accompanying relation with a focus on players'games and intersubjectivity which are constitutive elements of the accompanying relation. Critical configurations which restrict nascent entrepreneur's learning capability are described. The article is only available in French language.
Vital Capital Fund is a $350 million private equity fund that invests in opportunities which simultaneously enhance the quality of life of communities in rapidly developing nations, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, while also delivering attractive financial returns for investors.
Sectors: Urban community housing solution, Agriculture, Healthcare, Renewable Energy, Water and Education
Type of Fund & Amount
Investment ticket size of US$10-50 million
Ventures or businesses which present a strong potential for both significant positive financial returns, as well as social and/or environmental (S&E) impact
SFF is a philanthropic organization that gives opportunities and resources to people in rural Africa, allowing them to change their communities for the better.
Type of Fund & Amount
First-time grants to Grassroots Innovators and Systems Innovators range from $10,000-$30,000.
Grants are capped at $100,000 a year per partner
Only covers 20-30% of an NGO’s organization’s budget
Organizations that are more likely to be considered for a grant:
• Are small and early stage
• Have an annual budget ranging between $50,000 and $500,000
• Demonstrate at least two years of operations and successful fundraising to support such operations
• Have paid staff and a board of directors or advisory committee.
• Are legally registered as a nonprofit organization in the country of operation
The Ford Foundation is always open to new ideas, and it invites the submission of ideas through its short online form. The Foundation will review each one and be in touch within 45 days if it is interested in learning more. Before ideas are submitted, it is suggested to familiarize oneself with Ford Foundations seven program areas focused on challenging inequality: (1) Civic engagement and government; (2) Creativity and free expression; (3) Future of Work(ers); (4) Gender, racial and ethnic justice; (5) Just cities and regions; (6) Natural resources and climate change; (7) Technology and Society
Innovators, organizations, another with an innovative idea