Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation
Between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe

Round Table: Food Security, Innovation and Private Sector Engagement

Round Table: Food Security, Innovation and Private Sector Engagement

Round Table: Food Security, Innovation and Private Sector Engagement

CAAST-Net Plus hosted a round table discussion on the role of innovation and engaging the private sector in EU-Africa science, technology and innovation cooperation in food security. [Image credit: CAAST-Net Plus]

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The discussion was held in conjunction with the Africa Techno Forum from 23-27 November, organised by France’s CVT Volarisation Sud, and CAAST-Net Plus partners – the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and SA’s Department of Science and Technology.

The forum showcased new technologies from Africa and Europe focusing on marine science, agronomy, nutrition, energy, water and the environment.

Linking Inventors, Researchers and Financiers

“Africa Techno Forum aims to link inventors, researchers, financial partners and economic operators for innovative technologies. The Forum also granted African and European scientists the opportunity to promote their technology to investors looking for innovative technologies,” according to Dr Jean Albergel of the IRD. 

Innovative funding methods in agriculture, challenges and opportunities in patenting traditional African foods, and funding opportunities for EU-Africa research collaboration in food and nutrition security were amongst the key topics from the discussion.

Judith Ann-Francis of the Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation, Netherlands. [Image credit: CAAST-Net Plus] View all event photos

Worlds Apart

“While we have a very practiced narrative about the role that scientific and technological research plays in inspiring or driving innovation for economic growth, and a persistent anxiety about a perceived weakness in the academia or research – business relationship, a striking reality emerging from this exchange was that for many small– and medium–sized enterprises in the food and nutrition security and agriculture domain, and the small scale entrepreneurs, the link to the scientific and technological environment can be a distant one,” said CAAST-Net Plus coordinator Dr Andrew Cherry speaking after the event.

“The scientific or technological dimension of a new product or of a new service is just one of so many pressing practical issues facing SMEs and entrepreneurs and it is unrealistic to expect SMEs and entrepreneurs to share our perspectives. We who inhabit the world of international scientific cooperation must never lose sight of these realities and can ill afford to isolate the S&T contribution from host the of other factors driving business ideas,” Cherry added. 


To find out more on innovation and private sector engagement in EU-Africa STI food security cooperation, watch out for the December 2015 issue of the CAAST-Net Plus bi-annual magazine.

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Disclaimer: CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n0 311806. This document reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union cannot be held liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 311806
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