A memorandum of understanding (MoU), a document describing a bilateral agreement, was signed recently between eI4Africa and iMENTORS indicating an intended common line of action. The two projects have a common interest in a close cooperation in order to achieve their respective objectives and promote the adoption of consolidated standards in the e-Infrastructure with the ultimate aim of boosting RTDI (Research, Technology Development and Innovation) in Africa.
e-Infrastructures– electronic research infrastructures – are collections of ICT based resources and services used by the worldwide research and education community to conduct collaborative projects and generate, exchange and preserve knowledge.
iMENTORS launched in April 2012 by Stockholm University and Gov2u is a web-based platform serving as a knowledge repository for sharing and aggregating data on e-infrastructure projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of the project are to:
- Create a virtual observatory, acting as one-stop-shop data warehouse providing up-to-date information on all e-infrastructure related development programmes and initiatives of the past 5 years in Sub-Saharan Africa to increase the effectiveness and coherence of international cooperation in the field of research infrastructures.
- Build a community of practice for support to policy development and programme implementation by creating a social hub facilitating interaction and knowledge sharing, to improve collaboration among different stakeholder groups, and offer them opportunity to create synergies and plan future projects.
The objectives of the eI4Africa project are to:
- Define and implement a structured multi-channel outreach strategy to support the development of African national and regional research and education networks (NRENs/RENs), build cooperation between Euro-African NRENs, RENs and user communities. Raise awareness at policy level on the benefits and value of research and education networks. Promote and strengthen Euro-African collaborative research on e-Infrastructures and their applications.
- Produce a state-of-the-art study of e-Infrastructure application uptake in Africa to identify who are early adopters of e-Infrastructures (providers) and which user communities are early beneficiaries (consumers) of e-Infrastructures;
- Select existing flagship demonstrations from other continents and illustrate their relevance to the African context in order to stimulate policy dialogue on e-Infrastructures.