HORIZON 2020 - Information session and training for National Contact Points (NCP) in African countries, Accra, 28 - 29 May 2015 (28/05/2015)

A two-day workshop, consisting of, an Information Session on Horizon 2020 and, the  training of National Contact Points (NCPs) located in African countries, will open in Accra tomorrow 28 – 29 May 2015.

The overall objective of the workshop is to increase the awareness of Horizon 2020 and its opportunities, and to build the capacity of National Contact Points for improved participation in Horizon 2020 by African research scientists.  Specifically, the workshop aims to popularize Horizon 2020 Calls among African researchers to improve African participation; provide training for National Contact Points in the Western and Central African countries; and facilitate the nomination of NCPs.

In a brief statement, the Head of Infrastructure and Sustainable Development at the EU in Ghana, Mr. Bart Missinne, said the EU research programmes, although intending to promote EU's competitiveness, strive to address global challenges. "For both of these aims, cooperation with researchers across the world is essential. Consequently, the EU's research policy is looking to promote international cooperation in particular through our main funding instrument "Horizon 2020"."

"The support to research is a core part of the broader EU - Ghana cooperation and this beyond the horizon 2020 programme although we believe it will be a fundamental complement to our activities at Ghana level."

He said over the coming 6 years, several programmes will be implemented that will concern directly the research community. "Mostly, they will look at projects targeting the development of local capacities and contents in some fields fundamental for the future of Ghana. Those fields will include energy, environment, climate change; agriculture etc. and the projects will be mostly implemented through call for proposals, in cooperation with our partners from the Government of Ghana".

Background:

In 2014, the European Commission launched Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020, running from 2014-2020, makes nearly €80 billion available for research and innovation projects. Focusing on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges, the goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, remove barriers to innovation, and make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

Horizon 2020 is fully open for participation from around the world, including from Africa. With this new openness, Africa’s research and innovation actors have a better chance than ever to leverage the opportunities presented by Horizon 2020 for greater cooperation with European partners. However, despite this opportunity, African researchers have not participated in as great of numbers as could be expected. Reversing this trend can be at least partly achieved by increasing the understanding of Horizon 2020 – and the opportunities it offers – in Africa and increasing the number of trained National Contact Points (NCPs) located in African countries.

The CAAST-Net Plus project, funded by the European Commission, has convened Horizon 2020 Information Sessions across Africa with the aim of increasing African researcher’ understanding of the programme. In addition, CAAST-Net Plus has encouraged and supported the nomination of NCPs in African countries and previously held training events in Ghana and Mauritius.

The INCONTACT2020 project, funded by the European Commission, has supported Horizon 2020 awareness activities around the world by providing training and tools for capacity building and directly supporting the work of NCPs in third countries.

For more information consult the agenda pdf - 503 KB [503 KB]