Research Partnerships and Global Development: The Challenge of Securing Impact from Science in Africa

Prof Stuart Taberner, Research Councils UK

Ms Christine Kolbe, Department for International Development

Dr Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi, Economic Research Forum

Governments have been increasing investment in research and research partnerships for global development.   The UK Government recently announced the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research to address global challenges in partnership with researchers in developing countries.  Strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing nations is also an aim of the GCRF.

This session will discuss the practical and policy challenges of accelerating innovation and delivering development solutions from research, and the infrastructure required to conduct high quality research, with a particular focus on Africa.   It will discuss challenges from the perspective of researchers, innovators, and policy makers and researchers across partner countries.  The session will be designed to be interactive and will include significant audience participation.

Panel members will explore and encourage the audience to discuss how researchers and policy makers can engage with partners across Africa to ensure that initiatives and projects are designed in a sustainable and equitable way to meet the needs of the local community. They will also discuss balancing the opportunities to deploy the resources of developed nations to meet global challenges with the need to build Africa’s science and innovation capacity, infrastructure and expertise for the long-term.

Panel members will draw discussions preceding the Science Forum in a two day event run by the NRF, The Royal Society and Research Councils UK.  The event will bring together stakeholders from across the region with a focus on capacity building within an African context, and the opportunities under the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (UK Aid funding with a focus on research worth £1.5bn).   We will ensure that the panel is representative, in terms of both gender and race, and will endeavour to draw one of the speakers from another African county.   Each speaker will have five minutes to present their input