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

Bi-regional STI Networks

EU-Africa research and innovation partnerships at work

Introducing RINEA

Introducing RINEA

New Horizon 2020 project, Research and Innovation Network for Europe and Africa, was launched in May 2015 and is expected to provide support to the High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (HLPD), which has been set up between Africa and Europe as part of their Joint Africa-EU Strategy. RINEA project coordinators *DR KERSTIN GARCIA and *DR STEFAN WAGENER spoke to *Research Africa's REFILWE MASHIGO about the objectives and expected outcomes.

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 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

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]

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
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