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Research and innovation

Green transition priority

Green transition priority of the AU-EU cooperation and related partnerships

Why cooperation on the green transition is important

Tackling climate change and environmental degradation is one of the most urgent challenges for Africa and Europe. The green transition and energy access priority is a prominent pillar of the comprehensive strategy with Africa. It establishes the development of sustainable energy, transport solutions, farming, circular and blue economies to maximise the benefits of the green transition and minimise threats to the environment in full compliance with the Paris Agreement.

Research and innovation as a key driver for the green transition in African-European cooperation is underpinned by the HLPD since 2011, and since 2017 complemented by the 2 research and innovation partnerships on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) and Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (CCSE).

Long-term partnerships

Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)

The partnership runs for an initial period of 10 years, and supports the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy. 

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Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (CCSE)

The partnership supports actions in renewable energy, energy efficiency as well as human capital, capacity-building, open data and open access. It has 2 pillars: climate action for adaptation and mitigation and renewable energy.

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Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA)

The partnership runs from 2018 – 2028 and is devising new research and innovation approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth.

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All-Atlantic Ocean Research 

The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is the result of science diplomacy efforts involving countries from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The goal is to enhance marine research and innovation cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic to Antarctica.

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The 3rd All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum focused on the socio-economic recovery of the Atlantic countries and communities. Over 500 participants connected virtually. It was hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa, in cooperation with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission in December 2020.

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25 new All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors were selected from 14 different connected to the Atlantic Ocean. Ambassadors will be involved in the Horizon 2020 AANChOR Coordination and Support Action, and will develop communication strategies and work with local media to conserve and protect the Atlantic Ocean for future generations.

Follow the youth ambassadors on social media 

Twitter l Facebook  l Instagram l  #AtlanticYouth

Pan-African network for economic analysis of policies (PANAP)

PANAP is a network of academic, research and institutional partners collaborating with the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in research on agricultural economics and policy issues with a focus on Africa.

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Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)

GMES is an initiative of the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide environmental and security related services. Its ambition is to improve the capacity of African policymakers and planners to design, implement, and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of Earth observation data and derived information.

GMES & Africa is a long-term and strategic cooperation to address the growing needs of African countries to access and use Earth observation data for sustainable development by integrating and deploying African requirements and needs in Copernicus services. 

The AU Commission signed a Cooperation Arrangement with the EU in 2018 to facilitate AU’s access to EO data from the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus Programme.

The promotion of monitoring tools, related technology and information management, delivered by space-based earth observation technologies is also a key element for the Partnership on Climate Change Sustainable Energy (CCSE). Such information is central to understanding changes on the planet and changes in the macro- and microenvironment. There is also a strong link the Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA), as agriculture is highly exposed to climate change.

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Group on Earth Observations (GEO) initiatives for climate impact monitoring with Africa

GEO is a global network connecting government institutions, academic and research institutions, data providers, businesses, engineers, scientists and experts to create innovative solutions to global challenges. Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to better integrate observing systems and share data by connecting existing infrastructures using common standards.

Whilst improving connectivity and bandwidth to improve access to data, it is important to promote AU data centres or mirrors to EU data centres to enhance intra-Africa collaboration between centres and universities. Observation of land use and land use change are critical for both climate mitigation and adaptation purposes.

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The Belmont Forum

The Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organisations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of transdisciplinary science to provide knowledge to understand, mitigate and adapt to global environmental change.

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Further partnerships

Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DESIRA)

The initiative contributes to African and global governance of research through support and interactions with GFAR, CGIAR, and AIRCA. It is associated to the Commission directorates (DG RTD, DG AGRI) in fostering international research, especially in Africa, to address Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).

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Long-Term Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE)

LEAP-RE aims to create a long-term partnership of African and European stakeholders in the field of renewable energy. Over 5 years, LEAP-RE will support collaborative research and innovation projects, as well as develop renewable energy related innovations.

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Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP)

The AEEP is a long-term framework for strategic dialogue aimed at sharing knowledge, setting political priorities and developing joint programmes on the key energy issues. It is one of the partnerships under the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES).

The overall ambition is to improve access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy for both continents, with a focus on increasing investment in energy infrastructure in Africa.

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High level platform on Sustainable Energy Investments (SEI Platform)

The platform brings together African and European stakeholders to accelerate impact, create new jobs and inclusive sustainable growth through investments in the energy sector.

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The External Investment Plan (EIP)

This Africa-owned and led initiative aims at harnessing Africa's abundant renewable energy resources to support their development strategies and leapfrog towards low-carbon economic development. Alongside the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) it supports the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).

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