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Research and innovation
News article30 June 2021Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Commission launch one-stop-shops for EU-Africa cooperation in research and innovation

The European Commission today launched two new platforms, the EU-Africa (EU-AU) cooperation in research and innovation (R&I) portal and the EU-Mediterranean cooperation in R&I portal to provide one-stop-shops for all policy-makers and stakeholders interested in EU-Africa cooperation on research and innovation.  They are part of the cooperation initiatives announced in the EU Global Approach to Research and Innovation and the EU comprehensive strategy with Africa. These initiatives also include the call for applications of the EU’s African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence (ARISE) pilot programme and the Horizon-2020 funded project ENRICH in Africa. The latter builds on the work and the numerous established tech hub linkages of the Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP) and creates a network that strengthens and connects the EU and Africa ecosystems.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

Our jointly established EU-Africa priorities are now being translated into actions such as; the new online platforms,  the new ENRICH in Africa project, ARISE calls launch and the Horizon Europe Africa Initiative. These activities contribute to building knowledge economies for sustainable growth and jobs. The pilot Africa Europe Innovation Partnership, has been instrumental in connecting the EU with the Africa Union high-quality incubators, accelerators and technology transfer offices.

The EU-Africa cooperation in R&I portal focuses on the EU-AU High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation, through which the European Union and the African Union develop and implement joint short, medium and long-term research and innovation policy priorities and activities.

The EU-Mediterranean cooperation in R&I portal aims to foster greater research and innovation collaboration between the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Member States, including North Africa.

Supporting internationalisation of businesses

The EU-funded project ENRICH in Africa was presented to stakeholders at the final Africa Europe Innovation Partnership conference today in the presence of Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Agbor of the African Union Commission. This project bring together key stakeholders from the innovation landscape of Europe and Africa, to improve the incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial skills in both regions. Entrepreneurs in Africa and Europe can now enter the new programmes, designed to support internationalisation of businesses, in particular SMEs, between the two continents.

Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner, said:

EU-African Union cooperation in the field of research and innovation has clearly gained momentum, and this is very encouraging in view of its Agenda 2063 and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024. Together, our African researchers, research institutions and European partners will overcome the socio-economic impact of the Corona crisis and build sustainable African economies.

Call for applications open

The call for applications of the European Union’s African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence (ARISE) pilot programme is open. ARISE, launched in December 2020, will empower early career African scientists in delivering cutting-edge research across Africa..

Jutte Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said:

It is with great pleasure we take the next step in the relations with our African partners, by supporting the most promising African researchers to put their innovative and excellent science into practice. The ARISE project marks the beginning of a journey towards the goal of self-sustained African institutions supporting the development of knowledge-based societies.


The portals announced today, the ENRICH in Africa and ARISE projects are part of a bigger package of cooperation initiatives announced in the EU Global Approach to Research and Innovation and the EU’s comprehensive strategy with Africa.  In addition, on 16 June the call for proposals under the Africa Initiative, as part of the Horizon Europe work programme 2021-2022, comprising around 40 topics with a budget of around €350 million, representing numerous opportunities for European and African researchers to strengthen cooperation in the areas of green transition, public health, Innovation and Technologies and Capacities for Science.

More information

EU-Africa cooperation in R&I Platform

EU-Mediterranean cooperation in R&I Platform

AEIP Conference (on 29 and 20 June) and ENRICH in Africa

ARISE call for proposals

Horizon Europe Africa initiative calls on tenders and funders portal


Publication date
30 June 2021
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation