EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership Conference

EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership Conference

18 October 2015, Milan, Italy. The Directorate for International Cooperation of DG Research and
Innovation organised an interactive round-table on the role of EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology and innovation supporting food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) and its roadmap.

The focus was on the role of women and youth as game changers in the field as well as on other successful cooperation models with Africa. Best practices and lessons learned were shared by a variety of key stakeholders and international experts coming from public and private sector.

The event offered a unique visibility opportunity and an exclusive platform for bringing together new ideas, discuss innovative solutions and challenging opportunities.

See concept note: EXPO 2015 RTD DRAFT CONCEPT NOTE

The Research and Innovation Partnership aims also at reducing the fragmentation of efforts and supports a vision where issues of food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture are no more seen as separate development problems for the South and agro-environmental problems for the North, moving away from the traditional aid perspective. In a world increasingly serviced by a global food supply and integrated food systems, useful and suitable innovation opportunities are key in African and European contexts. It proposes an inclusive research and innovation framework bringing together the multiplicity of actors in the innovation chain, as such linking national policies to locally adapted innovation and allowing for a generic knowledge exchange.

Extract of the program:

Keynote Speech Ms. Cristina Russo, Director International Cooperation, DG Research and Innovation, 

The EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership and the specific role of youth and women in achieving its objectives 
  • Mr. Mohammed Jeenah and Mr. Philippe Petithuguenin Co-chairs of Expert Working Group of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue 
  • Mr. Mahama Ouedraogo – African Union Commission, Acting Director HRST department 
  • Mr. Aldo Longo – Director, DG Agri, European Commission 
  • Ms. Melissa Plath – Coordinator UniPID and ERAfrica project partner

Other international cooperation models with Africa, innovative partnerships, leading role of youth and women in Africa 

  • Mr. Pierre Jacquet – President – Global Development Network 
  • Mr. Bernard Yvetot – Vice-President International Strategy – Finance and Strategy Division- ORANGE 
  • Mr. Matteo Landi – Industrial Development and Youth Employment Expert – UNIDO 
  • Mr. Johannes Wedenig – Senior Advisor to the Regional Director Eastern and Southern Africa – UNICEF 
  • Laurens Van Veldhuizen – Senior Staff Member – Prolinnova international network 


15 October 2015, Expo Conference Centre – EXPO Milan. Following the six month debate at Expo 2015, the EU Scientific Steering Committee presented four key recommendations contained in the document Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee Recommendations: research and innovation in global food and nutrition security. 

  • The committee calls on the European institutions to carefully consider these recommendations and take them into account for future policy decisions in the area of food and nutrition security. 
  • This event took place just one day before World Food Day and offered a platform where international actors from politics, the scientific community, industry, and civil society discussed the recommendations for a “European Research and Innovation Agenda for Global Food and Nutrition Security” that have been produced by the EU scientific steering committee for Expo 2015
  • These recommendations are based on the Steering Committee’s discussion paper “The role of research for global food and nutrition security” and on the six months discussion during more than 200 conferences and workshops organised in Milan in the framework of the EU scientific programme for Expo 2015. 
Panel 1- Recommendation I: Improving the transfer from research into practice for Global Food and Nutrition Security 
  • Introductory remarks: Tim Benton, Member, EU Scientific Steering Committee for Expo 2015 Moderator: John Bell, Director Bio-economy, Directorate-General Research and Innovation, European Commission 
  • Frank Rijsberman, Chief Executive Officier, CGIAR Consortium Klaus Heider, Director-General for Food Policy, Product Safety and Innovation, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany 
  • Carlo Mango, Director, Scientific Research Department, Fondazione Cariplo Roberto Moncalvo, Vice-President of COPA, President of Coldiretti 
  • Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute, Ireland Questions and answers 
  • Closing remarks: Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
Panel 2 – Recommendation II : How can we improve the state of scientific knowledge and its up-take for Global Food and Nutrition Security policy making? 
  • Introductory remarks: Joachim von Braun, Member, EU Scientific Steering Committee for Expo 
  • Moderator: David Wilkinson, Director, Institute of Environment & Sustainability, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre, European Commission 
  • Paolo de Castro, Rapporteur for Expo 2015, European Parliament 
  • Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research Africa (FARA) 
  • Pamela Byrne, Chair, Joint programming Initiative Healthy Diet for Healthy Life Governing Board 
  • Emile Frison, Member, International Panel of Experts on sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) Questions and answers 
  • Closing remarks: Patricia Reilly, Member of Cabinet of Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Sport, responsible for Directorate-General Joint Research Centre, European Commission 
DOWNLOAD THE PAPER “Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee Recommendations: research and innovation in global food and nutrition security.”
See the programme
Further reference: 16/10 Expo 2015: Commission draws on EXPO 2015 to find ways to bolster food and nutrition security

13/10/2015. Carlos Moedas, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Science and Innovation, held a press conference on the new Work Programme for Horizon 2020. In line with the “Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the World” agenda set by Commissioner Moedas, the Work Programme is designed to open up European research and innovation, for instance, by attracting more SMEs; ensuring better use of research results and strengthening research cooperation with other countries. It will also greatly enhance the impact of EU research funding, in line with the EU Budget focused on Results strategy launched by Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Budget and Human Resources.

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