European project ENRICH in Africa
Capacity Development for the EU-African Innovation Community
Recent years have revealed an increased focus and interest with regards to the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems across Africa. Such focus has covered the academic, political, and of course business environment, looking to enhance cultural, technological, and economic advantages. The European Union (EU), through the European Commission (EC) and alongside the African Union (AU) and individual European and African organisations, have been active in designing several initiatives to best explore the current situation and investment requirements needed to capitalise on opportunities that exist, for the mutual benefit of African and European countries.
In the frame of these initiatives, the Horizon 2020 project ENRICH in Africa (EiA), coordinated by Steinbeis 2i, develops an online platform for delivering services to incubators and accelerators and supporting the EU-African Innovation Community. The unique project consortium consists of a variety of partners renowned in the field, providing access to both regions as well as contributing an already extensive set of existing services. The project will be extending the existing ENRICH network , also present in the USA, Brazil and China, together with the additional India network which kicked off at the end of 2020.
Utilising a co-creation ethos, EiA brings together incubators and accelerators across the EU and Africa to act as a network of Champions, demonstrating the values and knowledge sharing vision at the heart of the project.
This network, in the beginning comprising of EiA consortium members, will be expanded over the years to include other incubation and acceleration programmes across both regions, thus expanding the impact of the EiA project and mission. Key elements of the concept include the focus on capacity building and learning for incubators and accelerators, offering them access to skills and expertise that will help them increase their own services to innovators.
The various activities of EiA will be centralised within a unique online digital infrastructure, offering different services for a wide range of stakeholders in the EU-Africa innovation ecosystem. A testable framework will be piloted in the initial stage of the project timeframe, leading into an evaluation and subsequent centre implementation phase, which will see the pilot project outcomes bring EiA to its full commercial capacity.
In addition to coordinating the project, S2i will also be overseeing the EiA Centre set-up and business operationalisation and is responsible for the exploitation of project results, ensuring sustainability of the EiA Centre after project end.
Project duration: 01/2021 – 12/2024
Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
ENRICH in Africa has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101004709.