Yesterday, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) adopted the new joint AU-EU Innovation Agenda, which aims to transform and increase the innovative capacities and achievements of European and African researchers and innovators into tangible outputs, such as products, services, businesses and jobs.
Supported by the Global Gateway, the AU-EU Innovation Agenda will represent the mainstay of the cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation between Africa and Europe, for the next decade.
The Agenda includes 4 objectives, with short-, medium- and long-term actions, grouped according to the priority areas of AU-EU Cooperation in Research and Innovation (R&I), namely Public Health, Green Transition, Innovation and Technology and Capacities for Science, in addition to Cross-cutting issues.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said:
“The Innovation Agenda will represent the backbone of our cooperation supporting research and innovation actions with Africa. It aims to create tangible positive impact on the ground, such as tools for agricultural use, climate services and food systems transformation. Alongside cutting-edge medicines, biotechnologies and diagnostics.”
Prof. Mohamed Belhocine, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation, African Union Commission said:
“Research and Innovation endeavours are to be translated into actual products, services, businesses and jobs thereby developing a long-term sustainable AU-EU cooperation model”.
The joint AU-EU Innovation Agenda is accompanied by the Roadmap, which provides an overview of the governance and coordination of the Agenda as well as an inventory of implementing initiatives. It will be constantly updated on a quarterly basis to include additional initiatives in the coming years. Several initiatives will contribute to its implementation, including programmes by the European Commission such as Horizon Europe and the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package, the AU Commission, EU and AU Member States and other organisations.
AU and EU Ministers of R&I will meet in 2024 to review progress towards the implementation.
Today also sees the launch of the AU-EU Innovation Interface, which is part of the Innovation Talent Platform. It features information on initiatives and opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers and investors, generated during the implementation of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda. Among other resources, this Interface will give access to a new “AU-EU Deep Tech Transformation Training Scheme”, addressed to innovators and entrepreneurs, is expected to start before the end of 2023.
Prepared in full AU-EU concertation and first published as a Working Document in February 2022, the draft AU-EU Innovation Agenda was extensively discussed with R&I stakeholders throughout the year 2022 by means of an online public consultation and numerous other outreach events, culminated with the AU-EU Innovation Agenda Stakeholder Event in Nairobi in November 2022. The final version of the Agenda was therefore prepared by taking into account feedback and input received from stakeholders on the Working Document.
- Publication date
- 20 July 2023
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation