Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, February 19, 2024

Strengthening the Europe-Africa Digital Ecosystem through Increased R&I Cooperation

29 January 2024.
A consortium of 10 African and European partners kickstarted the next chapter in EU Africa innovation cooperation: Horizon Europe, SEADE project - Strengthening the Europe-Africa Digital Ecosystem through Increased R&I Cooperation’: (1 January 2024 to: 31 December 2025).

This 2 years project will be fostering AU-EU cooperation for Research and Innovation in Digital (R&IID) actors by providing fundamental support services and delivering valuable programmes rooted in sound market research.

SEADE Consortium Partners: Steinbeis Europa Zentrum (Germany), Methys Consulting (South Africa), Bondy Innovation (France), European Business and Innovation Centre Network (Belgium), WAZIUP (Germany), Hapa Foundation (Ghana), Technology Innovation Agency (South Africa), Bpifrance (France), Association of African Universities (Ghana), ENRICH in Africa Center (South Africa).
“Africa is our neighbour but largely unknown to the European Innovation Ecosystem. Many EU Projects that build bridges between Africa and Europe have shown that we must learn from one another. The project SEADE wants to build on the legacy of past projects and pave the way for increased learning and collaboration by analysing the obstacles and success factors for R&I cooperation. Broadly education and therefore R&I and HEI actors play a crucial role in creating a better tomorrow. We aim to contribute to a vision of a better future for all, which is ambitious but also necessary” 
Jan Ertmann, SEADE Coordinator and Project Manager at Steinbeis Europa Zentrum.

Through its programmes and services, SEADE aims to provide a seamless ‘Route-to-Market’ pathway by transferring research knowledge into market success. All actions will be founded in a human-centred approach based on qualitative and quantitative market research conducted in the first months of the project. Programmes and services like bootcamp trainings, R&I to industry matchmaking, soft-landing programmes and learning expeditions will be tested in pilot actions in four Sub-Saharan target regions including Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa.

The SEADE project incorporates and builds on work started in previous projects, such as the Horizon 2020 projects AfriConEU, HUBiquitous and ENRICH in Africa, in which consortium partners created a network of core stakeholders from both continents ­čîŹ to support and strengthen the European-African innovation ecosystem. Their ecosystem expertise is complemented by the perspective of Higher Education Institutions, represented by the Association of African Universities.
  • The H2020 AfriConEU project - The Trans-continental Networking Academy for African and European Digital Innovation Hubs (1 February 2021 - 31 January 2024), created trans-continental Networking Academy for African & European Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH), to strengthen a common EU-Africa innovation & Startup ecosystem. The AfriConEu project connected DIHs from Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania with DIHs from Europe with the aim to support them through capacity building and networking activities. African DIHs are playing a central role in the development of digital entrepreneurship and by raising their capacities to tackle the challenges they face they became more effective in driving digital innovation forward.
  • The H2020 HUBiquitous project - Paving the Foundation for Disruptive Technologies in Tomorrow's Digital Innovation Hubs (1 January 2021 - 30 June 2024) created a joint Africa-Europe Startup & Innovation Ecosystem for long-term collaborations and partnerships. Specifically, it empowered the startup and entrepreneurship ecosystems and increasing the technology level and capacity building of 30 local DIHs/TechHubs in five African countries. INNOTEC21 (Germany), Orange (France), European Startup Network (Belgium) WAZIUP (Germany), Insomnia DIH (Spain), CLOUDPORT (Ghana), DAR TEKNOHAMA BUSINESS INCUBATOR LIMITED (Tanzania), INNOVATION GROWTH HUB (Nigeria), Kmt house ( District Egypt). Backed by a consortium of five European and four African partners, the project built on the existing cooperation and partnership stemming from two previous Horizon 2020 ICT International Collaborations with Africa projects (WAZIUP, WAZIHUB). 
    • WAZIUP WAZIHUB (Open-Hub in Swahili) is an innovation project aiming at boosting IoT & Big Data innovations in Africa through African Tech Hubs. The project consortium is formed by 10 African partners and 4 European partners. The project extracted value from value-added IoT innovative services based on the technologies developed in WAZIUP and FiWARE (www.fiware.org). WAZIHUB exploits and shares IoT Technology. Countries: Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, France, Italy, South Africa. Duration: 3 years

  • The H2020 ENRICH in Africa project - A Multi-sided Platform Business Model for supporting the EU-African Innovation Community (1 January 2021 - 30 June 2024). To connect European researchers and businesses with the global innovation markets, the European Commission has promoted ENRICH centres in Brazil, China and the United States. The EU-funded  ENRICH in Africa  project established an ENRICH centre in Africa as a network of incubators and accelerators connecting European and African innovators. Project participants: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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