Young Scientists and Entrepreneurs - changing the face of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership

June 2, 2016

UniPID, through its FinCEAL project, has been supporting Finnish researchers to strengthen their cooperation with their counterparts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This year, FinCEAL took this support a notch higher by challenging young scientists and entrepreneurs at the 2nd Stakeholder Forum on Africa-EU Energy Partnership.Together with the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Programme (RECP) which is co-financed by Finland, FinCEAL organized a session for young scientists and entrepreneurs - the challenge - A Science Slam!

UniPID,through its FinCEAL project, has been supporting Finnish researchers to strengthen their cooperation with their counterparts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This year, FinCEAL took this support a notch higher by challenging young scientists and entrepreneurs at the 2nd Stakeholder Forum on Africa-EU Energy Partnership.

Togetherwith the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Programme (RECP) which is co-financed by Finland, FinCEAL organized a session for young scientists and entrepreneurs - the challenge - A Science Slam! The selected participants (shortlisted from a selectionprocess that had 120 applicants) had 3 minutes to sell their research/business idea to a mixed audience. The ideas were evaluated against their

  • Relevance - why is your research/business in energy necessary?
  • Innovation - what makes it unique? How is it different from what everyoneelse is doing/has done?
  • Economic viability - Is your research bankable? i.e. can the results becommercialized or be useful in commercialization? How can your business be scaled up or attract investment?

The arenaof scientific developments and entrepreneurial approaches in the field of energy issues play a decisive role as a pivotal aspect of the development of countries and regions. It is certain that young people and researchers need to be at the centre and play a role in this development. The science slam is also a reflection of the importance of University-Private sector cooperation and the need to engage young people in these partnerships.

The participatingyoung scientists showcased interesting research projects that could enable the private sector and governments make informed decisions on what kind of energy programmes/projects they should roll out. The entrepreneurs had innovative business models especially targeting energy access for the BOP markets.

From thisexperience, FinCEAL has learnt the importance of continuously supporting young researchers to develop skills in disseminating their work to a wider audience. As countries currently emphasize the need for evidence-based policy to address global challenges, these skills have become even more critical.

To see moreabout the slam, visit AEEP Young Scientists andEntrepreneurs