As with its predecessor, the thrust of the ACP-EU Science and Technology Programme II is based on the conviction that one of the requirements for an effective fight against poverty in the ACP countries is the application of knowledge gained from Science and Technology (S&T) in order to promote innovation and ultimately develop appropriate technologies, which could be effectively deployed within the context of local needs and resources. In this perspective appropriate technologies are affordable, replicable and accessible technologies that can contribute to strengthen ACP countries' and communities' resilience towards internal and external shocks, such as the looming energy shortages, the effects of climate change and the rising food insecurity. At the same time appropriate technologies can contribute to the improvement of living conditions in villages and cities, while boosting family and business incomes by raising competitiveness.
Against this backdrop the challenge for most ACP countries is not only to push themselves onto the frontiers of scientific knowledge, but rather to put readily available knowledge to use solving pressing social and economic problems. To this regard countries must build the capacity to find, absorb, and use existing technologies as well as to strengthen their own knowledge generation capacities. This entails creating appropriate policies and incentives, as well as building technical, vocational, engineering, entrepreneurial, managerial, and scientific capacities. For this reason ACP S&T II will support initiatives that strengthen the recognition of the importance of Science and Technology (S&T) for development, that produce innovation, that promote a scientific culture, that identify S&T goals and priorities, and that bolster national and regional capacities to formulate, manage, monitor, evaluate and disseminate S&T activities within and across ACP countries. However, in order to ensure complementarity with other EU initiatives in the field of STI, such as the Africa Call under the Framework Programme VII, the ACP-EU Research for Sustainable Development Programme, the Erasmus Mundus Programme and the Intra-ACP Mobility Scheme, the ACP-EU Science and Technology Programme II will neither finance research activities nor academic mobility.
Objectives of the programme and priority issues
The global objectives of this call for proposals are:
- To address the scientific and technological divide between ACP member states and the most industrialised countries.
- To strengthen Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in ACP countries to enable creation, update and use of scientific knowledge.
- To enhance the use of STI as a key enabler for poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development.
The specific objective of this call for proposals is to contribute to building and strengthening capacities in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in ACP countries.
The results that are necessary to achieve the specific objective are threefold:
- Result 1 – STI goals and priorities are identified, formulated and mainstreamed in the national and regional strategies of ACP countries.
- Result 2 – National and regional capacities to devise, manage, monitor, evaluate and disseminate STI programmes and their results are improved.
- Result 3 – The importance of STI for development is acknowledged by decision-makers, mechanisms of innovation understood by policy-makers and a culture of science promoted among the general public.
In line with the ACP Group of States' priorities and the EU Agenda for Change, the Programme prioritises Actions in the fields of Energy Access and Efficiency as well as Agriculture and Food Security. However, other sectors and/or interdisciplinary approaches are not excluded as long as the foreseen actions and activities are in line with the objectives of the programme.