The first bilateral Russian-African research projects contest has been announced

Russian-African relations
Russian-African relations

The new format of cooperation in the field of science, technology, and innovation will help to expand the areas of cooperation of Russian scientific and educational institutions with their partners from the African continent.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Uganda have announced a contest for research in the field of agricultural sciences. It should be noted that this is the first bilateral contest held by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia jointly with African countries on an equal funding basis. For its implementation in 2019–2020, the Russian side shall provide funding in the amount of RUB 30 million. The Ugandan side shall provide the equivalent amount of funding.

Projects acceptable for consideration are those that have corresponding (‘mirroring’) applications submitted by foreign partners of the project to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Uganda. It is envisaged to perform research in the agricultural sphere jointly with Ugandan research and educational institutions, as well as to involve industrial partners to act as extra-budgetary sources of co-funding and users of the project results.

It has been stipulated that the parties own the rights to jointly obtained results in accordance with their established contribution to the project. If the intellectual activity results user is an industrial partner, the rights to such results will be transferred under a license agreement or under an agreement of alienation of rights. The industrial partner must provide the competition organizer with the information on how the project results are commercialized throughout 5 years starting from the project completion date.

The competition rules require Ugandan participants to have a scientific and technical/technological cooperation agreement (or project) executed with their foreign partners as part of implementation of the joint project. The project activities performed by foreign partners shall be funded by foreign partners. The amount of funding provided by foreign partners must be at least 100% of the amount of the grant requested by the contest participant for each year of the project implementation.

As reported by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry plans to further expand its scientific and educational cooperation with African countries in the form of bilateral competitions, in particular, projects with South Africa, Mozambique and Tunisia are currently being elaborated.

In 2019, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation started to implement the ‘Science and Education Initiative for Uganda and East African Countries’. The initiative is aimed at promoting the development of East African countries using Russian scientific, technical and innovative elaborations, as well as educational programs in order to boost the performance of key sectors of the national economy, taking into account projects implemented by Russian companies in that country.

As part of the Initiative, the bilateral cooperation will be carried out in such sectors as agriculture, mineral resource mining, energy (including atom for peace), and ecology.

The cooperation will be conducted in a comprehensive manner, through coordinated programs, including scientific research, the formation of a sector development project, personnel training, and transfer of technology and knowledge.

by The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation

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