New technologies, knowledge and innovations can be powerful drivers of inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development. In fact, investments in research, innovation and technology are considered instrumental to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
On these lines, a growing number of ACP countries have moved to incorporate science, innovation and technology in their national development policies. At the same time, the European Union and Member States remain committed to continue investing in research and development, including enhancing national innovation systems.
It is within this context that the ACP-EU Programme to Strengthen Research and Innovation capacity in ACP countries – a new €60 million initiative of the Organisation of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) funded by the 11th European Development Fund – targets public and private stakeholders in the research and innovation sector across ACP countries with a comprehensive package of opportunities.
The initiative expands the support provided by previous ACP-EU programmes. For the past ten years, the ACP-EU cooperation has in fact financed several science, technology and applied research projects, which strengthened research & innovation (R&I) stakeholders' capacities, nurtured international collaborations, created partnerships and facilitated the application of research results to specific development needs.
At the same time, learning from these experiences demonstrated that a tailor-made approach, which takes into account the differing level of development of national innovation eco-systems, can prove effective in strengthening the capacities of key stakeholders at national, regional and ACP levels.
Thus, the new ACP-EU Programme, launched at the beginning 2021, will contribute to reinforce national and regional research and innovation eco-systems through 3 interlinked components:
1. The ACP Innovation Fund, which will provide financial support for the implementation of projects related to the following themes
- increasing access to digital literacy and use of emerging technologies
- creating better links between R&I skills development and labour market demand
- establishing effective synergies with the private sector
- integrating traditional knowledge into formal knowledge systems and practices
The main features of the fund are to
- support inclusive innovation ecosystems through partnerships among academia, governments, private sector, civil society organisations
- promote knowledge and technology transfers
- promote frugal innovation and local knowledge
- target women and youth
- sub-grant to local third parties
2. The R&I Policy Support Facility, which will provide assistance in response to specific requests, formulated by ACP research, innovation, and higher education public authorities so as to enhance the quality of research & innovation policies and systems
3. The ACP Research & Innovation Hub, a web platform to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among the programme stakeholders and beneficiaries
2021 - 2025
Western Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, Caribbean, Pacific
University of the West Indies, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement, Pacific Community, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement