AfriConEU successfully participated in both days of the Final Conference of Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP), entitled “Building Sustainable Partnerships with Enrich in Africa & beyond” which occurred virtually from the 29th until the 30th June 2021.
The event marked the official end of the AEIP pilot and attracted several policymakers, stakeholders, investors, and entrepreneurs from African and European countries. It was a two-day event, full of preparatory workshops, roundtable discussions, keynote speakers, networking events, and virtual exhibition booths. The event showcased the impacts and lessons learnt from the pilot AEIP to a broader audience of stakeholders. Outcomes of all the different project activities were presented and discussed.
On the 29th of June, a series of preparatory workshops took place, targeting the core stakeholders of the various AEIP activities, including the tech hubs in the network, the members of the Community of Practice on technology transfer, and entrepreneurs. Using the thematic challenges launched on cleantech, foodwaste, and edtech as a framework, the event linked up the target communities of tech hubs and start-ups, technology transfer offices/TTOs, and entrepreneurs.
The second day consisted of plenary sessions and panel discussions. Policymakers from the European Commission and African Union welcomed the audience, including Mariya Gabriel, EC Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology. Moreover, Prof Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education was present at the welcome session.
AfriConEU was active in the event, having a virtual exhibition booth, where the attendees learned more about the project and also booked 1:1 meetings and discussed with AfriConEU team members. Furthermore, AfriConEU organized an informative roundtable discussion presenting the outcomes of the first months of the project. Finally, Marta Coto, Project Manager of INOVA+, presented the project during the session “Beyond AEIP: The new landscape of Africa-Europe Innovation Collaboration”, among other H2020 projects.
The event was an excellent opportunity for networking and visibility of the AfriConEU project. AfriConEU carried out the live coverage of the event through Twitter.