Taking EU-Africa Innovation Cooperation to the Next Level: Horizon Europe Project SEADE Kicks Off

5. Februar 2024

On 29th January, a consortium of 10 African and European partners kickstarted the next chapter in EU Africa innovation cooperation: SEADE, short for ‘Strengthening the Europe-Africa Digital Ecosystem through Increased R&I Cooperation’ 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. The project, funded by the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, will be running for two years and is coordinated by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum.

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,” emphasized Jan Ertmann, SEADE Coordinator and Project Manager at Steinbeis Europa Zentrum.

The SEADE project incorporates and builds on work started in previous projects, such as the Horizon 2020 projects AfriConEU, HUBiquitous and ENRICH in Africa (EiA), in which consortium partners created a network of core stakeholders from both continents to support and strengthen the European-African innovation ecosystem. SEADE will extend this network to include the research sector and focus mainly on two key areas: digital transformation and international collaboration. Alongside programme development, integration of legacy elements from further current and past initiatives in the field will provide R&I actors with a comprehensive resource toolkit, made available within the digital platform of the EiA Center, legacy organisation of the EiA project.

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.

Coordinated by German innovation consultancy and former ENRICH in Africa coordinator Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, SEADE brings together 10 seasoned ecosystem partners from both continents with a wealth of experience and networks. Many of them have previously cooperated in the frame of ENRICH in Africa or other EU-Africa collaboration projects, creating impact on the ground. Their ecosystem expertise is complemented by the perspective of Higher Education Institutions, represented by the Association of African Universities.

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)

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Jan Ertmann
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Jan Ertmann

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