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eI4Africa and CHAIN-REDS Debated at The High-level Conference on 'Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships'

eI4Africa and CHAIN-REDS debated at the High-level Conference on "Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships" (March 7-8, 2013 - Belgium)

A high-level conference on “Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships” took place on March 7-8, 2013 at the Thon EU Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. This conference presented the outcomes of the PAERIP project, funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Over the past two years PAERIP undertook an extensive analysis of Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, including best practices which could be identified from current cooperation and the formulation of recommendations to enhance collaboration. In this context PAERIP considered cooperation activities such as how to enhance transnational access to research infrastructures for African and European researchers, and the promotion of networks integrating African and European research infrastructures.

The conference took place at a crucial time for the development of new cooperation instruments for Africa-EU cooperation including for collaboration in science, technology and innovation. These instruments include, for example, the new EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the EU Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Development Fund (EDF).

Within this context, one of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of PAERIP’s recommendations on how research infrastructure partnerships could best be promoted as part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). eI4Africa and CHAIN-REDS have also been formally presented to the audience by Kostas Glinos (Head of Unit, GEANT and e-Infrastructures, DG CONNECT, European Commission) in the framework of an overview presentation introducing the role of e-Infrastructures and 4 specific support actions: AfricaConnect, eI4Africa, CHAIN-REDS and iMentors.

The conference concluded on a specific session on the way forward for Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, including a discussion on policy recommendations with regard to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, and a presentation on how ensuring the sustainability of the PAERIP initiative.

Organized by Sigma Orionis (France) with the support of DST (South Africa), ISC (Belgium) and all project partners, this conference was a side event to the "EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration" (EU CG3) conference, that took place in Brussels on March 4-8. Hosted by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament, the event placed the EU research at the center of the scientific response to global challenges, bringing together scientists and science policymakers from 100 countries.