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AERAP Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Forum, 7 - 10 March 2023
The Forum will be designed to inform and engage with policymakers to ensure that the role and contribution of science, enabled through digital technologies, is reflected in European Union and its Member States’ policies concerning Africa. The meetings will also be designed to increase the level of participation and reinforce the networking by African nations’ with their partners in related EU programmes and science and innovation programmes supported by European Union member states and some associated countries. Digital capacities, existing and new, for expanding science inclusion and citizen participation by all groups in society across Africa, will be explored.
Key policy and programme developments include:
The meeting will address a range of themes, including Biodiversity Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Geoscience, ICT, Digital Transformation, the Green Agenda, Women and Girls in science, Astronomy, reskilling and upskilling and Agri-food systems. In the Forum, we will examine the feedback loops between scientific funding, education funding, and digital transformation to support evidence for policymakers.

The meeting will also consider how emerging regulations covering data protection, medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics, and other areas impact science in Africa and science and innovation cooperation between Africa and the European Union.

The global context will be considered through the inclusion of speakers from the UN, OECD and other multilateral bodies.

The programme below is still in development so please check it regularly for updates.
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Tuesday, March 7 • 11:00am - 1:00pm
(07329) “Opportunities for research collaboration and skills development between South Africa and Europe in regards to Green Hydrogen

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“Opportunities for research collaboration and skills development between South Africa and Europe in regards to Green Hydrogen”
The South African Embassy in Brussels is pleased to invite you to a seminar and information sharing session titled: “Opportunities for research collaboration and skills development between South Africa and Europe in regards to Green Hydrogen”. Join us for a hybrid event on Tuesday, 7th March, at 11:00 to 13:00 Brussels time.

Globally, the demand for green hydrogen (H2) and green hydrogen-based Power-to-X products such as ammonia and synthetic jet fuels (PtX) is rising. To fulfil decarbonisation targets, many off-takers (e.g., EU and Japan) are willing to pay a premium price and to sign long-term supply agreements to stimulate H2/PtX market development. Due to the outstanding potential of renewable energies (RE) and existing H2 production facilities, South Africa is regarded as one of the main future suppliers of green H2 products.

Building a H2 economy could open-up promising new export markets for South African companies, as well as domestic use opportunities. This could also lead to significant economic development and job creation while playing a role in supporting a just energy transition in the South African energy sector. Despite the promising conditions available for the development of a H2 economy in the country, certain challenges still exist. The development of a green H2/PtX market requires a massive expansion of low-cost RE capacities.

Against this backdrop, establishing a new sector will require skills and capacities. Therefore, there is a need to identifying the skills that will be required to service the hydrogen sector and work towards ensuring the availability of these skills and capacities.

Under the Horizon Europe programme, the Clean Hydrogen Partnership Call for Proposals was published on 31 January 2023 with a total of €195m available for projects. The aim of the call is to provide support in the creation of “cutting-edge hydrogen technologies”.

11h00              Moderator, Welcome and Opening Remarks
 Mr Declan Kirrane, Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly

11h05              Overview of EU and SA Hydrogen Economy Activities
Ms Cecile Leemans, Team Leader for Global South, International Relations Unit, DG ENERGY, European Commission
Ms Eudy Mabuza, Senior Science and Innovation Representative to Brussels, South African Department of Science and Innovation

11h35           South Africa’s Master Skills Plan and the Hydrogen Economy 
Sasol & NRF Call: Research to Enable SA’s Energy Transition & Green Economy
Ms Nolwazi Gasa, Deputy Director General: Planning, South African Department of Higher Education and Training
Ms Mamphoku Khuluvhe, Director: System Monitoring and Labour Market Intelligence, South African Department of Higher Education and Training
Dr Eugene Lottering, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, South African National Research Foundation

11h55              South African Research Activities from Entities (10 minutes presentation each)
Prof Dmitri Bessarabov, Director: HySA Infrastructure (Hydrogen Production, Storage and Delivery) Centre of Competence, co-hosted by the North-West University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial and Research 
Dr Alex Vogel, Expert Future Technology Research and Technology Energy Operations and Technology, Sasol South Africa (Ltd)
Ms Zanele Mavuso-MbathaChief Executive Officer, Bambili Energy
Mr Niels Luchters, Co-founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer: HYENA, Hydrogen Energy Applications (Pty) Ltd

12h35 Closing remarks 
Mr Declan Kirrane, Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly

The Clean Hydrogen Partnership Call for Proposals was published on 31 January 2023 is hydrogen research call for proposals with a total of €195m available for projects. The purpose of the call is to support and fast-track the creation of cutting-edge hydrogen technologies.

The Clean Hydrogen Partnership is a public private partnership that supports research and innovation activities in hydrogen technologies across Europe, and is due to receive a total of €1bn from the European Union for the 2021-2027 period with potential for a further €1bn from private investment.

The funding available will be split into:
  • €49m for renewable hydrogen production 
  • €36m for hydrogen storage and distribution 
  • €25.5m for transport 
  • €19m for heat and power 
  • €7.5m for cross-cutting
  • €38m for hydrogen valleys 
  • Aa further €20m for the strategic research challenge.

The topics in the call will be split into 11 Innovation Actions, 13 Research & Innovation Actions, and 2 Coordinated & Support Actions, with 5 of the Innovation Actions considered of strategic importance and are selected as flagship projects.

The European Union has set a target of 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen production by 2030 as well as importing the same amount, marking a 20 million tonnes/year market by the end of the decade, according to the REPowerEU directive. The research call is currently open since 31 January and is due to close on 18 April 2023.

avatar for Dmitri Bessarabov

Dmitri Bessarabov

Director:, DST HySA Infrastructure Center of Competence
PROF DMITRI BESSARABOVProf. Dmitri Bessarabov joined DST HySA Infrastructure Center of Competence at NWU and CSIR in 2010. He was recruited for a position from Canada. An internationally-recognised visionary with extensive industrial, academic and financial decision-making experience... Read More →
avatar for Eudy Mabuza

Eudy Mabuza

Senior Science and Innovation Representative, Embassy of South Africa, Brussels
Ms Mabuza has seventeen and a half years of progressive experience in the PublicSector engaging and mediating with international agencies in an effort to increase bilateraland donor relations towards the South African Science System. She has been dealing with awide range of policy... Read More →
avatar for Mamphokhu Khuluvhe

Mamphokhu Khuluvhe

The Department of Higher Education, South Africa
Ms Mamphokhu Khuluvhe has many years of experience in education policy analysis, skills planning, research, monitoring and evaluation. She is currently a Director responsible for System Monitoring & Labour Market Intelligence in the Department of Higher Education and Training. She... Read More →
avatar for Zanele Mavuso Mbatha

Zanele Mavuso Mbatha

CEO, Bambili Energy
Zanele has over 27 years of work experience in the renewable energy industry, mining industry and financial markets.Currently CEO of Bambili Energy a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell systems and their sub-components. On behalf of Bambili, Zanele is:• Co-leading the development... Read More →
avatar for Nolwazi Gasa

Nolwazi Gasa

Department of Higher Education and Training
avatar for Eugene Lottering

Eugene Lottering

National Research Foundation
Dr Lottering is a former Executive Director at the NRF and was CEO of the National Innovation Fund, a R1 billion fund that specialised in high-risk investments in science, engineering, and technology applications, leading to the establishment of a commercial enterprise. The National... Read More →
avatar for Cecile Leemans

Cecile Leemans

Team Leader for Global South - DG ENER, European Commission
Since October 2021, Cecile Leemans, is Team Leader for Global South, in the International Relations unit of the Directorate-General for Energy.She oversees energy diplomatic relations with emerging and developing countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. She has been since 2018... Read More →

Tuesday March 7, 2023 11:00am - 1:00pm CET
Embassy of South Africa, Belgium