Questions: Refilwe Mashigo
Responses: Dr Kerstin Garcia and Dr Stefan Wagener
What is the goal of RINEA?
RINEA aims to develop a sustainable model for research and innovation coordination between the activities and programmes of European and African member states and associated countries. The project has 13 partners from Africa and Europe, and a budget of €1.9 million.
How will RINEA employ these partnering resources (budget, consortium) to boost EU-Africa STI cooperation?
One of the project’s key resources for maximising its impact is its close links with relevant policy stakeholders across Europe and Africa. For example, several RINEA partners are directly involved in the planning and implementation of the science, technology and innovation (STI) pillar of Joint Africa-Europe Strategy (JAES), including the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLDP) on STI and its structures (see CAAST-Net Plus Magazine, Issue 5 for more information on the HLPD and HLPD Bureau or go to l.caast-net-plus.org/fC). In addition, six African science ministries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Namibia, South Africa) as well as three implementing agencies of European ministries (France, Germany, Portugal), that are also members of the HLPD Bureau at present, are RINEA consortium partners. Other countries in the HLPD Bureau are represented in the RINEA consortium by institutions enjoying close links with relevant government departments, as is the case for Finland, Greece, Nigeria and the UK. Most prominently perhaps, the African Union Commission is represented in the RINEA consortium by the African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI).
How will RINEA contribute to the SDGs?
RINEA serves the processes of bi‐regional STI cooperation within the framework of JAES, as governed by the HLPD. The close association of RINEA with national representatives in the HLPD Bureau offers an informal, yet valuable, route for dissemination of outputs to a key structure in the cooperation landscape. In the same manner, most RINEA partners have close associations with their national authorities and have privileged access to national processes. Partners are similarly close to their countries’ representatives on bodies with responsibility for international cooperation, such as the Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation (SFIC), in Europe, and the Specialised Technical Meeting on Education, Science and Technology (formerly AMCOST), in Africa. These associations again offer the potential for informal transfer of RINEA outputs and their assimilation into higher level processes.
Tell our readers about one ‘big ticket’ activity of the RINEA project.
One of RINEA’s key aims is to assist programme owners or funders to define the topics and modes of implementation of a joint cooperation programme, shared by programme owners, and which is based on good practice. In this regard, one specific RINEA task is to initiate and facilitate a platform for STI and development programme owners to have in‐depth discussions on areas and modes for cooperation, with the aim of launching a joint call in defined priority areas.
What other activities should readers expect from RINEA?
We will conduct an analysis of EU-Africa partnerships, frameworks and obstacles, and will implement networking activities to reinforce a bi-regional STI partnership between research and innovation actors. As alluded to above, we will focus on the launch and implementation of new joint calls for proposals for European and African STI programme owners and to build on lessons from previously successful initiatives, such as ERAfrica.
We will also offer contributions to the evidence‐base for the planning and decision‐making processes of bi‐regional STI governance structures, such as the HLPD, and will offer support in the implementation of the HLPD´s recommendations. We will support the dissemination of the results of our activities through our website, as well as promote EU‐Africa STI cooperation to a wider stakeholder community, assuring effective communication among the various STI roleplayers. Last, we will network with other EC project coordinators in order to identify synergies and develop joint activities based on mutual interests and identified priorities.
For more info about RINEA, go to www.rinea.org.
Dr Kerstin Garcia is Scientific Officer at the German Aerospace Centre’s Project Management Agency.
Dr Stefan Wagener is Sub-Saharan Africa Head of Unit at the German Aerospace Centre’s Project Management Agency.
*This article first appeared in the CAAST-Net Plus Magazine of December 2015.
[Image credit: DLR-PT, RINEA]
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