The event was the culmination of a stakeholder dialogue launched in February this year, which aimed to gather feedback and input from stakeholders and organisations on the draft AU-EU Innovation Agenda. The stakeholder dialogues take place in different formats and bring the views and recommendations of critical African and European actors together.
The joint AU-EU Innovation Agenda is an unprecedented initiative aiming to accelerate the translation of research and innovation into a tangible positive impact on the ground to generate products, services, businesses, and jobs, in Africa and Europe. It proposes four objectives, articulated into short-term, medium-term, and long-term actions, for each of the four priority areas of AU-EU cooperation in science, technology, and innovation: 1) Public Health, 2) Green Transition, 3) Capacities for Science; 4) Innovation and Technology; as well as cross-cutting issues.
Though announced at short notice, the dialogue event in Nairobi attracted about 300 participants from Europe and Africa. The participants informed themselves, exchanged ideas, and networked for two days. The hybrid event reached another 100 interested people online.
The results of the online public consultation on the AU-EU Innovation Agenda were presented and discussed in the forum. Specific demands and ideas of the stakeholders and possible ways of implementing the agenda were discussed. In various workshops on the topics of the Innovation Agenda, testimonials reported on their own experiences and gave best practice examples. Pitches and a matchmaking session entitled “AU-EU Innovation Fair – meet the innovators” presented successful start-ups whose partnerships were promoted as collaborations and entrepreneurship. Training and information seminars rounded off the entire two-day programme.
The results of the dialogue event will be used to make the final version of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda. This version should be ready by early 2023 to be adopted at the AU-EU Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology, and Innovation, which will be held later in 2023.
The European Commission launched the call for proposals for Erasmus+ for 2023 on 23 November. With an annual budget of €4.2 billion, Erasmus+ further intensifies its support for inclusion, active citizenship and democratic participation, and environmental and digital transformation in the EU and internationally.