Research, Innovation, and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn’s visit to Cape Town last week ended with announcing the first initiative of European and African countries to jointly fund collaborative research projects. The commissioner’s visit marked the 15th anniversary of the European Union's first science and technology agreement with South Africa.
The Commission expects to launch the calls in January, with a budget of EUR 11 million. Meanwhile, the African side, which is represented by five countries, is expected to contribute another EUR 4 million. The funding will target various research projects in the following sectors: agriculture, health, climate change and energy.
'Today's agreement is truly historic,' said Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. 'It is the first time that European and African countries have jointly established a research agenda that will be funded by both sides. This can serve as a model for future cooperation between our two continents and encourage other countries to embrace this new form of partnership.'
The objective of ERAFRICA is to promote the networking of European and African funders of research and innovation, as well as to develop joint project calls.The Commission said the project calls are scheduled to be published in early 2013. All submissions must be made by mid April 2013, and signatures must be placed on all contracts between December 2013 and May 2014.
The financial commitment agreement will be signed on the margins of the annual EU-Africa Joint Experts Group science cooperation forum meeting.
AERAP will keep you updated on this programme which represents an interesting funding opportunity for African-European radio astronomy cooperation.
Further information: www.erafrica.eu
Photo: Commissioner addresses the ERAfrica agreement signing ceremony, 6 November 2012, © EU, 2012
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