CAAST-Net Plus

CAAST-Net Plus

Gift Kadzamira –National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Malawi

As a Horizon 2020 National Contact Point for Malawi, I was privileged to attend a Horizon 2020 information session and National Contact Point (NCP) training workshop organised by CAAST-Net Plus and the European Commission (EC). The workshop aimed to provide guidance and practical information on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020.

Thirty participants from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region’s science ministries and the research community attended the workshop. The key lesson that I learnt from the event was the guidance on how to provide support and information on the EC’s funding framework especially on the main pillars of Horizon 2020, theset of rules on funding programmes, the main funding instruments and the guidance
on identification of NCPs.

In a bid to increase participation of Malawian researchers in Horizon 2020, I lead the organisation of the Horizon 2020 workshop on behalf of the NCST in Lilongwe for representatives from the research institutions, universities and government departments to increase awareness about available opportunities for Malawi. The workshop was specifically aimed at strengthening the collaborative type of research and innovation capacity of universities in Malawi with international counterparts by looking at the rules on funding programmes, the eligibility of participants, identification of research partners, writing and evaluation of proposals, preparation of budget as well as the main funding instruments.

Currently, there is an ongoing engagement with stakeholders on any support researchers may need on Horizon 2020 calls. Plans are also underway for researchers to submit proposals that are designed for the participation of African countries in the upcoming year.