CAAST-Net Plus Helps Energy Researchers Develop Stronger Proposals
The event was hosted by the East African nation's education ministry at the Hotel Villa Portofino from 21-22 July.
Speaking afterwards Rwanda's director general for science, technology and research, Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, said that the meeting was timely and important.
"Low-carbon and climate-resilient energy technologies in Africa are of great importance in ensuring a green economy resilient to the challenges of climate change."
"The workshop has brought young researchers and regional and international professionals together to network and help frame research proposals to be of significant relevance to address the development challenges of the region," she said.
[Image credit: UNEP-DTU Partnership]
Networking and Learning
Eileen Lara, who is a master's student and a project engineer at Makerere University's Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), described several benefits from having attended the workshop.
"One of them is that I had the opportunity to meet several senior researchers in my field," Lara said.
"Because of the workshop structure we had the opportunity of sharing our proposals and getting feedback on how we can improve them. I gained constructive criticism on my draft proposal which I had submitted at the application stage."
Lara added: "Not only did the experts offer their advice, they went further and gave us space to keep contacting them for advice in the future."
- Bridging Academia and the Private Sector in East Africa - Pontien Ndabaneze of the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA)
- CIRCLE Programme Energy and Climate Change Research - Berhanu Abegaz and Benjamin Gyampoh of the African Academy of Sciences
- Climate Resilience in Green Energy Systems - Cecilie Larsen of the UNEP-DTU Partnership
- Current Research Priorities and Needs in Low-Carbon and Climate Resilient Energy Sector - Nelson Ijumba of the University of Rwanda
- EAC Policy and Strategy Framework for the Energy Sector - Said Kibeya of the East African Science and Technology Commission
- Experiences of the Globelics and AfricaLics Networks - Aschalew Tigabu of the African Centre for Technology Studies
- FONERWA Funding Environment and Climate Change Priorities - Rwanda National Environment and Climate Fund
- How to Access Horizon 2020 Funding Opportunities - George O. Essegbey of Ghana's Science and Technology Policy Research Institute
- Public-private Co-funding Mechanisms - Tony Mitchell
- Research Collaboration Toward Climate-resilient Energy Technologies in Africa - Arne Tostensen of the Research Council of Norway
- The BASE Project
- The Transition to Low-carbon Energy Technologies in Africa - James Haselip of the UNEP-DTU Partnership
James Haselip of the UNEP-DTU Partnership, who helped to organise and who co-chaired the workshop, said the event created an important opportunity for participants to share information and learn from each other.
"The atmosphere was collegiate and constructive and everyone appeared to be discussing issues of common interest, making new contacts and discussing overlaps and opportunities to collaborate," he said.
"Looking ahead, the tangible outcomes of this events will only be known as and when the gathered participants succeed in securing funding for their research projects, potentially in partnership with contacts make at this event."
As part of the workshop, a field excursion to East Africa's largest grid-connected photovoltaic plant at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village took place on 23 July.
This aspect of the workshop provided participants with a "first hand example of Africa's transition to sustainable energy," said Haselip.
[Image credit: UNEP-DTU Partnership]
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A small number of event photographs have been posted on the CAAST-Net Plus Facebook page.
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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.