CAAST-Net Plus Backs Fairness Initiative
The RFI aims to create a reporting system that encourages governments, businesses, research organisations and funders to develop fair partnerships.
The initiative, which is in a development phase and undertaking regional consultations, is being promoted by CAAST-Net Plus, which sees RFI as part of developing a platform for enhanced health cooperation between Africa and the EU.
Nigeria Workshop (25-26 July 2016)
The Nigeria workshop was held at the Raw Materials Research and Development Council in Abuja.
Speaking after the workshop, DanAzumi M. Ibrahim who is director general for Nigeria’s Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), said that NOTAP was highly supportive of the RFI.
“Considering that the global economy is knowledge driven and operates on robust R&D activities carried out in research institutes, NOTAP is committed towards facilitating for the uptake of RFI as a tool to drive and strengthen research collaboration and partnership for increased bi-regional cooperation between Nigerian researchers and their partners within Africa and Europe,” Ibrahim said.
“For collaborative research to effectively achieve its objectives, it is extremely important for partners to exhibit fairness, mutual trust, commitment and understanding,” he said.
The Nigeria workshop drew strong participation from diverse role-players.
[Image credit: NOTAP]
“More than 40 participants attended the event, including several directors, vice chancellors, researchers, as well as representatives of Nigeria’s health and science ministries, the Nigerian Academy of Science and the EU Delegation in Nigeria,” said CAAST-Net Plus representative, Katharina Kuss, a project manager for the Spanish Foundation for International Cooperation.
“We had many good discussions and received interesting input for the development of RFI,” said Kuss.
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Senegal Workshop (3-4 August 2016)
[Image credit: MRS, Senegal] View all event photos
The Senegal workshop took place at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and was organised as a collaborative effort of CAAST-Net Plus, COHRED, Pharmalys Ltd and the Senegal Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche).
Director general of higher education and research, Mamadou Sangharé, who chaired the workshop, underscored the utility of the RFI for Senegal’s health research sector.
“Senegal is fully committed to this project because the authorities consider research as an important development lever,” he said.
“Health research is mainly done in collaboration with other institutions, particularly European institutions, which often have more financial possibilities, hence the importance of the Research Fairness Initiative.”
A large cohort of health researchers, institutional leaders and policymakers attended the convening.
“We had an excellent turn out of about 50 participants, including high level participants from most health research universities in Senegal,” said Eric Mwangi from Kenya’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
[Image credit: MRS, Senegal] Eric Mwangi, the CAAST-Net Plus Africa region coordinator, presents a workshop participation certificate.
Marieme Ba who is managing director of health research firm, Pharmalys Ltd, which has offices in Senegal and UK, said the workshop had delivered an important message.
"Pharmalys was very proud to be part of this wonderful team work and hope that public/private partnerships is the way forward for achieving sound transformation in the health research for development landscape in Africa," said Ba.
En Route to Brussels
Building on these and other regional consultations, a set of guidelines are currently being developed by COHRED for the purpose of the formal establishment of the RFI.
Towards this end goal, the COHRED Research Fairness Initiative Conference will take place on 28 September 2016.
The event will explore how the RFI functions within health research and innovation partnerships in Africa and Europe, bringing together results from CAAST-Net Plus-supported RFI workshops in Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.
Its specific goals are:
- Inform a critical mass of African and European stakeholders about how the RFI can strengthen bi-regional health research cooperation.
- Increase intra-EU coordination of and support for bi-regional health research cooperation.
- Develop the RFI as a tool to support diverse programmes to more efficiently impact on joint health research priorities.
- Improve the RFI as sustainable collaboration platform to support bi-regional health research cooperation on joint priorities.
For more information about RFI go to http://rfi.cohred.org or contact Lauranne Botti (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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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.