Brussels, March 6, 2014: On the occasion of the 2014 Innovation Convention, the African European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP) will host a breakfast meeting on 11 March 2014, which will explore the options for supporting the contribution of venture capital to radio astronomy in Africa and contribute to the debate on how investment in Africa-EU radio astronomy partnerships will support economic growth and human capital development.
Africa has received growing interest from venture capitalists in the last few years as it is on the path to continuous development. The ever growing number of accelerators, technical hubs, and angel networks appearing across Africa are further proof that entrepreneurship is flourishing in the region. Private equity and venture capital play a crucial role in financing the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector and supporting economic growth in Africa.
Investment in Africa’s research and innovation plays a pivotal role in tackling societal challenges related to domains such as health, climate change, ICT, renewable energies, demographic changes and security. As these challenges are global in nature, there is a growing need for cross-border, multidisciplinary collaboration in scientific and technological research and development.
The following speakers from various backgrounds and expertise will be speaking at the meeting:
• Mae Jemison - Former NASA astronaut, Head of the 100 Year Starship initiative
• Barbara James - Founder and CEO of Henshaw Capital Partners
• Kurt Zatloukal - Vice-chair of the Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz
• Declan Kirrane - Managing Director, ISC Intelligence in Science
• Lizbeth Goodman - Chair of Creative Technology Innovation
The meeting will be an ideal platform for participants to explore possibilites for supporting the contribution of venture capital to radio astronomy in Africa and in terms of EU-Africa collaboration.
Date and time: 11 March 2014, 8:15 – 9:30 AM
Location: Renaissance Hotel, Rue du Parnasse 19, 1050 Brussels