06-04-2020AERAP welcomes Mr. Christian Ehlers MEP’s call for an “EU data centre”


AERAP welcomes Mr. Christian Ehlers MEP’s call for an “EU data centre” a common data standard to collect data on infections, a “huge upgrade” of internet infrastructure and less burocracy for researches, following his announcement on 6 April 2020.


The AERAP Africa-Europe science data platform is currently exploring synergies between radio astronomy scientists and digital medicine researchers to study how computational data science can aid the fight against COVID-19, in particular with Africa. Data plays a vital role in addressing the current COVID-19 crisis. In particular, when data comes from patients, we need to understand the different levels of patient disease responses. Also, data is required from different parts of the world to conduct meaningful analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence and its outputs, including for epidemiological science. Access to increased computing power is needed for capacity building that provides the open and shared resource to address global challenges generally but in particular, COVID-19.


AERAP supports Dr Ehler's call for common standards, including data standards: this needs to apply at the global level and in particular with Africa, in line with the EU's Africa Strategy which will provide a common framework for extending EU-Africa partnerships to address common challenges through shared capacity, infrastructures, know-how and data.


Dr. Ehler is right to emphasise the need to build on existing EU initiatives, many of which are open to the world and provide the opportunity to align EU policy priorities with United Nations SDGs. AERAP was established following the European Parliament's Written Declaration 045/2011 concerning science capacity building in Africa, which aims at strengthening science and technology cooperation between the EU and Africa, including identifying the essential role of science and technology for socio-economic transformation, including health.


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