COST is an ideal instrument for African researchers to get engaged with new partners as well as to maintain existing collaboration. The open and inclusive COST Action networks offer a low barrier entry facilitating cooperation with European knowledge hubs.
The AERAP, (Africa-Europe science platform) briefing, ‘Opportunities for enhanced STI cooperation between the EU and Africa’ was held online on Wednesday 18 November. The event focused on EU support for cooperation with Africa on science, R&D innovation and education for the timeframe of 2021-2027. The event was attended by many high-level representatives from Europe and Africa including among others, from the European Commission, the African Union and country ministries.
Director of the COST Association, Ronald de Bruin, presented COST during the Key Area 2 discussion, Green Transition (food, climate change and energy).
“I am proud that COST has been acknowledged by Africa Strategic Report published by the Strategic Forum of International Cooperation earlier this year, as one of the instruments to implement the strategic orientation, namely to enhance African participation, which can promote excellent science with Africa.”
He continued by explaining how COST has long been attracting research communities from Africa across a wide range of research fields. Stating that COST could be considered as the first step in engaging research communities from different countries and continents, as well as an important instrument to maintain established scientific and research cooperation. The Director then summarised the existing links between COST and Africa, outlining the 5 COST Near Neighbour Countries and Partner Member, which are situated there and the Actions that researchers and innovators from the continent have participated in.
Background to the event
In March 2020, the European Commission published a Communication entitled ‘Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa,’ which sets out a new comprehensive EU strategy with Africa, which will be built on five partnerships. European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and youth, Mariya Gabriel stated that “Research and Innovation plays an essential role in our cooperation with Africa. In view of creating a knowledge society and economy, we need to further scale up this existing academic and scientific cooperation This has to take place through mobility schemes for our researchers and innovators as well as through vocational education and training.”
The five partnerships:
– A partnership for green transition and energy access
– A partnership for digital transformation
– A partnership for sustainable growth and jobs
– A partnership for peace and governance
– A partnership on migration and mobility