CAAST-Net Plus to Negotiate Extension With Commission
The 26-partner network project, which was due to close this year, aims to encourage more and better science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation between the EU and Africa.
"At a time when the young EU-Africa STI partnership is just finding its feet, the resources of CAAST-Net Plus, and other similar projects, would continue to provide useful support," says Dr Andy Cherry, the project's coordinator.
CAAST-Net Plus organises stakeholder forums on policy topics of mutual interest for Africa and the EU.
The project has also conducted research on bi-regional STI cooperation in areas such as food security, health and climate change and delivered numerous information sessions on Horizon 2020.
CAAST-Net Plus partners and stakeholders gathered from 19-21 October in Athens for the 2016 annual meeting. [Image credit: CAAST-Net Plus]
Dr Eric Mwangi, who is the CAAST-Net Plus Africa region coordinator, says that continuing work on the project in 2017 would be critical to delivering on its expected outcomes in both the long- and short-term.
"An extension would afford CAAST-Net Plus an important opportunity to work further on its goal of developing bi-regional STI cooperation platforms, in health, food security and climate change, which we would like to see sustained after the end of the project cycle."
Says Mwangi: "In the short-term, we also know how important it is to bring together researchers and innovators from Africa and the EU to learn more about the immediate opportunities that exist for developing joint project proposals on topics of mutual interest - and an extension would allow us to do that."
A CAAST-Net Plus work plan for 2017 would have to be highly targeted, Cherry says.
"Everything we might do in an extended CAAST-Net Plus would need to more clearly and directly serve the bi-regional policy dialogue on STI."
"On our agenda would also be investing resources in better EU-Africa health research cooperation through piloting the Research Fairness Initiative, in climate change through research capacity building among early-career climate change scientists in Africa, and by building a knowledge management and coordination system for the research and innovation partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture would."
"Investing in advancing networks of National Contact Points in Africa and helping to increase African participation in framework programme consortia would also be on our list of priority actions," Cherry adds.
- To contact the CAAST-Net Plus coordinator, Dr Andy Cherry, write to andy.cherry[at]acu.ac.uk.
- To contact the CAAST-Net Plus Africa region coordinator, Dr Eric Mwangi, write to emwangi23[at]yahoo.com.
- To find out about the activities of CAAST-Net Plus, watch our website's news feed and Twitter handle@CAAST_Net_Plus.
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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.