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The eI4Africa project selected for the ‘Etoiles de l’Europe 2015’ !

July 27, 2015

Created in 2013 by the French ‘Secrétariat d’Etat à l’Enseignement Supérieur et à la Recherche’, the ‘Trophées Etoiles de l’Europe’ value the research teams and their coordinators for their engagement in the European process and their role as project coordinators. As such, these awards recognize teams of researchers coordinated by a French organisation, which won a call for European projects and brilliantly led this project to completion. The ‘Trophées Etoiles de l’Europe’ (now in their 3rd edition) will be honoring twelve researchers reflecting the twelve stars of the European flag and symbolizing the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony between peoples.

It is in this context that the eI4Africa project (GA #312582 / Call for Projects #FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2012-1) – a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) of 24 months (01/11/2012-31/10/2014) – has been selected by the french Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research.

Aiming at boosting the Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) potential of African e-Infrastructures, at supporting Africa-EU policy dialogues, and at strengthening R&D e-Infrastructure cooperation in the framework of the joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership (JAES), the eI4Africa initiative – coordinated by Sigma Orionis (Karine Valin) with support from Brunel University (Simon Taylor) for the scientific part of the project – produced significant outcomes for supporting the developments of e-Infrastructures in Africa:

  • An extensive state of the art of e-Infrastructure applications in Africa;
  • The eI4Africa Project Wall showcasing 34 e-Infrastructure projects in Africa;
  • Studies assessing the economic, societal and environmental impacts of e-infrastructures;
  • Recommendations to application developers along an empirical 5-step approach;
  • The first ever Africa Grid Science Gateway, a portal for researchers to access a wealth of e-Infrastructures applications in an easy and user-friendly way;
  • Technical support to deploy certification authorities (CAs) and Identity Federations (IdFs) across Africa;
  • The identification and support to flagship demonstrators;
  • Demonstration of a new paradigm for broadband rural deployment through the Serengeti Broadband Network (Tanzania);
  • The reinforcement of Africa-EU cooperation through four major workshops in Malawi, Rwanda, Nigeria and Tanzania;
  • 44 recommendations to policy makers for speeding up the development of impactful e-Infrastructures in the continent.

During the final review of the project, the Project Officer (DG CONNECT) and the Review Panel Team assessed the project as ‘Excellent’ and recognized the project management professionalism and efficiency, the significant scientific results, as well as the level of collaboration between all project partners.

“We are delighted that this project, its team and its results can be recognized as part of the ‘Etoiles de l’Europe’” says Karine Valin, Executive Director of Sigma Orionis and Coordinator of the eI4Africa project. «We hope that eI4Africa will be rightly rewarded; this project will remain an extremely rewarding experience for each member of the team; on a human level as much as on a scientific one».

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