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

Workshop Conclusions: Engaging SMEs in EU-Africa Research Cooperation

Workshop Conclusions: Engaging SMEs in EU-Africa Research Cooperation

Workshop Conclusions: Engaging SMEs in EU-Africa Research Cooperation

The Finnish University Partnership for International Development has shared key messages and conclusions arising from a workshop on engaging SMEs in EU-Africa research cooperation. [Image credit: UNIPID]

Published on

Key Messages

  • More opportunities are being created for SMEs from Africa and Europe to build partnerships with research consortia. This cross-sectoral collaboration should be encouraged.
  • Horizon 2020 is not the only avenue for such collaboration, and it is certainly no panacea. Other avenues for cooperation exist and should be explored.
  • Key actors from SMEs and research institutions, including women and students, need to build greater trust in fostering their collaboration. Trust-building needs to happen early in research development.

Key Conclusions

  • The potential for cooperation between SMEs and research institutions is rich, particularly in science, technology and innovation partnerships.
  • Mechanisms to support innovation and cooperation are needed. In Horizon 2020 specifically, targeted topics for Africa-EU collaboration, which allow the inclusion of SMEs, and support for greater numbers of NCPs are needed for developing these bi-regional, multi-sectoral partnerships.
  • Collaboration in the innovation and entrepreneurial space should not be heavy-handed and top-down, but more open and people-centered. Opportunities should be created to allow people to get together to create together. Red tape should be minimized.

Workshop report

About This Event

  • This workshop was held on 31 March 2014, in Brussels.
  • It was organised ahead of the 4th EU-Africa Summit.
  • UniPID workshop collaborators included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, as well as the ESASTAP Plus, PAEPARD and CAAST-Net Plus projects.

Go to event announcement

This report was contributed by the Finnish University Partnership for International Development. 

This content was produced by *Research Africa for CAAST-Net Plus. To report an error, write to To learn more about us, go to ​

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
Image alt tag Image alt tag