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02/22/2012 - 06/15/2012

Announcement

of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the Federal Government's Strategy for the Internationalization of Science, Research and Education of Guidelines for funding research partnerships with Subsaharan Africa via exploratory measures, pilot measures and ICT study courses of Partnerships for sustainable solutions with Subsaharan Africa (Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions with Africa)

1 Funding purpose, legal basis

1.1 Funding purpose

The Federal Government is addressing the requirements of globalization with its Strategy for the Internationalization of Science and Research. A central element of this strategy is the continuous strengthening of cooperation with so-called developing countries, in this case countries in Subsaharan Africa (SSA). With a few exceptions, the development of this region requires special sustainable funding to provide these countries with opportunities to make significant economic and social progress. In this way, Germany can position itself as a reliable partner country for future scientific and economic centres and, together with them, contribute to regional solutions that are of global importance. Special significance is attached to so-called North-South-South cooperation projects. The Federal Government is thereby acting on its commitment to significantly increase government support for so-called developing countries. A further aspect is that future innovation potential in regions with considerable prospects for development must be tapped at an early stage and its development supported.
Increasingly complex issues involving current global challenges such as health, sustainable water supplies and resource conservation underline the significance of stable cooperation, not only with partner countries which are "strong" both economically and with regard to research policy, but also with researchers from countries with limited research capacities. Attention should be focused on developing common integrative solutions which combine scientific know-how with a fundamental knowledge of the regional situation and the special requirements of the respective countries and regions.
In order to achieve research results that can be implemented in SSA in the long term, it is essential to regard the cooperation projects as genuine partnerships. Partnership in this context means ensuring individual responsibility, observing the principle of the equal standing of all concerned and accepting moderately divergent interests within the framework of joint objectives. The mutual transfer of information and knowledge should take differing interests into account and contribute towards developing existing potential.
The funding measure is to serve as an incentive not only for German universities but also for non-university research institutions and companies to develop new cooperative approaches in accordance with their scientific strengths and problem-solving expertise together with partner institutions in SSA, and to thereby significantly extend and reliably network German development-related research in the long term. At the same time, these partnerships are to contribute towards expanding the scientific research capacities of the African partners in order to give qualified (young) African scientists the opportunity for a career in research in their native countries. International research cooperation projects are extremely important for scientists working in these countries, where research still faces tremendous hurdles due to weak infrastructures and networks as well as limited research funding. It is often difficult to engage in international research cooperation projects as adequate own funds are often not available, or not available on a continuous basis. Research cooperation is often difficult due to a limited research infrastructure.
This is where this funding measure aims to set in. Funding will be made available for exploratory and pilot measures in the field of research. Steps will be taken to improve the involvement of partner institutions from SSA countries in international consortia with long-term perspectives involving German partners. A special aim is to encourage reliable networking between German and African scientists and researchers from other countries (e.g. through trilateral collaborations with other industrialized or emerging countries). Cooperation projects in the field of research and development within SSA - that is to say so-called South-South Cooperation - are of strategic importance alongside North-South Cooperation and will also receive funding. The aim is for the "regionalization" of activities in Africa - i.e. a focus on regional solutions through cooperation in South-South networks.
 
The political framework for the call for proposals is provided on the African side by the Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), which was adopted in 2005 by NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development) and the African Union and identifies those research areas that are relevant for sustainable development processes on the African continent as well as other capacity-building measures. The Joint EU-Africa Strategy that was agreed between the European Union and the African Union in 2007 is also relevant in this context. To implement this strategy, the Commission of the African Union proposed a "book of flagship projects" in 2008, identifying priority fields for action from a pan-African perspective. The Federal Government's Strategy for the Internationalization of Science and Research is the main reference base on the German side.
New and varied knowledge-based partnerships for education, science and research with SSA will provide solution-focused and resource-oriented contributions to the implementation of African (national and regional) development strategies as well as to the development of the German Internationalization Strategy. The development and expansion of research capacities goes hand in hand with the promotion of young scientists and sustainable training and graduate programmes. Interdisciplinary research approaches that will also lead to bigger and flexible research collaborations in the longer term are particularly welcome.

1.2 Legal basis

Project grants will be awarded on the basis of private-law funding contracts in accordance with the present call, the BMBF's standard terms and conditions for grants on an expenditure or cost basis, and the administrative regulations under sections 23 and 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO). There is no legal entitlement to a grant. A decision on the award of funding will be made following due assessment of the circumstances and within the limits of the budget funds available.

2 Object of funding

Funding is to be provided for measures in the following topic areas
  1. Health and medicine
  2. Environmental technologies (including land management, climate and resource protection in the East and Central African region as well as renewables)
  3. Applied information and communication technologies (ICT)
Socio-economic research aspects should be an integral part of the topics in order to ensure the implementation of measures and guarantee value creation through research results in future. An independent socio-economic topic is also possible. Also feasible are relevant topic areas in the humanities and social sciences related to peace and conflict research or research in the field of vocational education and training.
 
Funding will be provided for exploratory and pilot measures with a view to establishing research partnerships which
  • explore new or extended opportunities for joint research or implement these in new pilot projects and thereby help German and African institutions of higher education to internationalize their research,
  • set out to promote relevant and joint topics by means of research cooperation,
  • enhance the seeds of innovation in the partner country in order to improve the country's overall competitiveness,
  • make use of existing so-called North-South-South cooperation projects or design new ones,
  • involve and provide local and regional know how,
  • prepare applications for follow-up projects - e.g. specialist programmes of the BMBF, the German Research Association (DFG), national programmes of the partner country (if applicable), EU programmes as well as programmes of national and international organizations in the field of development cooperation (KfW, GTZ, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc.).
Funding is provided for measures to design and plan research projects which serve the above mentioned objectives as well as for the necessary measures to expand the research capacity of the African partner institutions with regard to SSA development priorities. Initial and continuing training measures include in particular qualification measures such as research internships and workshops and training schemes for research management, administrative competences, etc.
As far as applied information and communication technology are concerned, the development and implementation of advanced post-graduate study courses will be funded within the framework of this call for proposals. The study courses, which are organized by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), should take place predominantly in the partner country (SSA) and primarily involve Master's degree programmes
The current call for proposals distinguishes between:
  • Exploratory measures over a period of up to six months, including meetings of experts and thematic workshops

OR

  • Pilot measures over a period of up to 24 months, including measures to expand research capacity (participation by African scientists in qualification measures and/or continuing training of research managers, special equipment grants for African partners, etc.).

OR

  • ICT study courses: Initial and continuing training measures may receive funding of a maximum of €150,000 per course and year, including scholarships, over a period of up to 24 months within the framework of the development and implementation of German-African advanced post-graduate study courses in the field of applied information and communication technology.

3 Funding recipients

German universities, non-university research institutions and companies cooperating with partner institutions in Africa are eligible for funding. Applications involving participation by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs1)  in Germany are expressly invited. Research institutions which receive joint basic funding from the Federal Government and the Länder can only be granted project funding supplementary to their basic funding for additional expenditure under certain preconditions.

4 Prerequisites for funding

At least one German and one African research institution must cooperate to receive project funding - projects involving several research institutions are welcome as are applications involving small and medium-sized enterprises. Partnerships with African countries in Subsaharan Africa will be funded under this call. Bilateral projects with partner institutions exclusively from Northern Africa or South Africa will not therefore be funded. The involvement of South African or North African partner institutions in a larger regional collaboration would be welcome, however.
 
At least one, but preferably several scientific institutions in the target country/countries should participate in addition to the German applicant and/or German collaboration. Compliance with the procedure (cf. 6). Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), the funding programmes of the BMBF, the EU-Africa Strategy and related measures under European funding programmes when preparing the planned project. They are asked to contact the International Bureau of the BMBF before submitting their proposals. Applicants submitting proposals for training and further training measures in the field of ICT are asked to contact the DAAD, Division 413. The Federal Government's Research and Innovation Funding Advisory Service and the National Contact Points for the European Research Framework Programme are also available for other calls for proposals.

5 Type, scope and rates of funding

Funds will be awarded in the form of non-repayable project grants for the expenditure stated below. Grants for commercial companies are calculated on the basis of the eligible project-related costs, up to 50% of which can as a rule be covered by government grants, depending on the project's relevance to application. The BMBF's policy generally requires a minimum own contribution of 50% towards the eligible costs incurred. The European Commission's Community Framework for State Aid for Research and Development must be taken into account when determining the rates of funding. The Community Framework allows differentiated bonus arrangements for collaborative projects proposed by applicants from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which may result in a higher rate of funding. The basis for calculating the grants for universities, research and science institutions and similar establishments is the eligible project-related expenditure (in the case of the Helmholtz centres and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG), the eligible project-related costs), which can be funded up to 100% in individual cases. Applicants are expected to prove that they have an independent interest in the project by making own funding available and contributing it to the project.
  1. In the case of exploratory measures, funding of up to a maximum of €50,000 per project will be provided to new partnerships for a duration of up to six months.
    1. Travelling expenses (including stays of up to four weeks)
      • Travelling expenses of German experts to SSA: Provision of rail and air tickets (economy class including transfer to and from airport), including reimbursement of the cost of necessary visas and statutory vaccinations and a daily allowance (between €82 and €107 per day depending on the country concerned) http://www.internationales-buero.de/de/767.php
      • Travelling expenses of experts from SSA to Germany: Provision of rail and air tickets (economy class including transfer to and from airport), including reimbursement of the cost of necessary visas and a daily allowance.
        Contributions to health insurance and other insurances as appropriate are covered by the daily allowance (currently €104 per day) and are to be paid by the recipients themselves.
      • Travelling expenses of African and German experts within Africa including stays: Provision of rail and air tickets (economy class including transfer to and from airport), including reimbursement of the cost of necessary visas and a daily allowance (between €82 and €107 per day depending on the country concerned).

        The daily allowance may be used to finance the cost of overnight accommodation, health, accident and liability insurance. (cf. Travel_Costs_Daily_Allowances.pdf under https://www.pt-it.de/ptoutline/application/2SSA2012)
    2. Costs of holding planning and qualifications workshops in Germany or Africa
      Funding may be granted to cover the following costs of the implementation of project-related workshops in Germany/Africa:
      • Accommodation of additional experts for workshop input (without daily allowance)
      • Hospitality and rental of venues for workshops
    3. Staff costs
      for drafting cooperation concepts and applications for funding under German and European funding programmes (up to three months)
      • for German experts (stating salary bracket: for example, TVöD public sector pay scale 11.3)
      • for African experts stating salary. Also needed is a legally binding letter from the African institution with the stamp and signature of the authorized signatory of the respective institution, stating that person x is paid salary y in accordance with his/her qualifications to work on the project.
  2. German and African partners in pilot measures receive grants of a maximum of €250,000 per project for a period of up to 24 months for:
    1. Travelling expenses (as stipulated under 1a)
    2. Costs of events (as stipulated under 1b)
    3. Staff costs for project-related content-related as well as administrative work:
      • for German experts, stating salary.
      • for African experts, stating salary.
        Also needed are a letter with the letterhead of the African institution, the stamp and signature of the authorized signatory of the respective institution, promising in writing to pay person x salary y in accordance with his/her qualifications.
      • for administrative work beyond work which receives basic funding
    4. Cost of training measures for young scientists as well as for research managers in SSA
    5. Funding of project-related physical resources and consumables (not included in the basic equipment of research institutions, e.g. project-specific equipment)
    6. Funding of other costs for joint research (e.g. transport costs in Germany/Africa, freight costs for laboratory material, etc.) The International Bureau's rates for travelling and subsistence expenses for German and foreign scientists can be found in the table at https://www.pt-it.de/ptoutline/application/2SSA2012
  3. ICT Study Courses: Measures for initial and continuing training in the field of applied information and communication technology are eligible for funding of a maximum of €150,000 per post-graduate study programme and year, including study scholarships.
    1. Travelling expenses for university staff to set up the Master's programme (including stay of up to four weeks)
      • Travelling expenses of German experts to SSA:
        Provision of rail and air tickets (economy class including transfer to and from airport), including reimbursement of the costs of necessary visas and statutory vaccinations and a daily allowance in accordance with the German Federal Travelling Expenses Act (BRKG).
      • Travelling expenses of experts from SSA to Germany:
        Provision of rail and air tickets (economy class including transfer to and from airport), including reimbursement of the costs of necessary visas and a daily allowance.
        Contributions to medical insurance and other insurances as appropriate are covered by the daily allowance (currently €95 per day) and are to be paid by the recipients themselves.
      • Lump sum travelling expenses for African and German participants in the post-graduate study programmes in Africa based on the rates of the DAAD
    2. Scholarships (maximum duration 24 months)
      Provision of scholarships for African and German participants in the post-graduate study programmes in Africa (max. 12 participants).
      African participants in the post-graduate study programmes in SSA will be granted up to €500 including tuition fees. African participants in Germany will be granted €750 per month plus health, accident and liability insurance according to DAAD rates; African participants in Master's degree programmes in SSA will be granted up to €500 including tuition fees.
    3. Personnel costs
      for project-related content-related and administrative work to coordinate the study course
      • for German experts, stating salary
      • for African experts, stating salary. Also needed are a letter with the letterhead of the African institution, the stamp and signature of the authorized signatory of the respective institution, promising in writing to pay person x salary y in accordance with qualification z. d) Physical resources
        A maximum of 20% of the funds approved can be set aside for physical resources.

6 Procedure

6.1. Procedure for exploratory and pilot measures

6.1.1 Involvement of the International Bureau and request for documents
The BMBF has entrusted the International Bureau (IB) with the implementation of the funding activity: Internationales Büro des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) im Projektträger beim Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
53227 Bonn
Internet: http://www.internationales-buero.de Contact persons at the International Bureau for subject-related information are:

Ms. Petra Ruth Mann (Southern Africa)
E-mail: Petra-Ruth.Mann@dlr.de
Phone: +49-228-3821 -1461

Ms. Nina Helm (West Africa)
E-mail: Nina.Helm@dlr.de
Phone: +49-228-3821 -1546

Mr. Stefan A. Haffner (Central and Eastern Africa)
E-mail: Stefan.Haffner@dlr.de
Phone: +49-228-3821 -1899

For administrative/financial information, please contact:
Ms. Stephanie Neumann,
E-mail: stephanie.neumann@dlr.de
Phone: +49-228-3821 -1848

For technical information, please contact:
Mr. Maik Brattan
E-mail: Maik.Brattan@dlr.de
Phone: +49-228-3821 -1651   Apart from being able to contact one of the above contact persons directly, applicants will also have the opportunity to attend an informational event on this measure. The event will be held in Bonn. Please get in touch with the contact persons at the project management agency for details of time and venue.
 
6.1.2 Two-phase funding procedure
The funding procedure will take place in two phases. Applications are accepted and processed continually. The call for proposals will run until 30 April 2012. Applications which do not correspond to the following criteria will not be considered.

6.1.2.1 1st Phase: Submission of a project outline
In the first phase, a project outline in English (max. 20 pages, DIN A4, Arial 11, 1.5 spacing) is to be sent to the International Bureau electronically using PT-Outline by 30 April 2012 at the latest: https://www.pt-it.de/ptoutline/application/2SSA2012. Scanned signatures from both the African and German partners are sufficient at this stage. Please note! In the first phase, it is essential that the project outlines are structured as follows depending on the type of project (exploratory or pilot). Applications which do not correspond to these criteria will be excluded from the selection procedure.

Model for project outlines - Exploratory Measures
  • Project Outline 2011 - Exploratory Measure
  • Title of the project and acronym if appropriate
  • Duration applied for
    1. Key concepts
    2. Coordinating applicant and partner institution(s) / partner(s)
    3. Objectives
    4. Work plan
    5. Qualifications of those involved
    6. Assessment of the chances of success following the exploratory measure

Annexes Model for project outlines - Pilot Measures

  • Project Outline 2011 - Pilot Measure
  • Title of the project and acronym if appropriate
  • Duration applied for
    1. Key concepts
    2. Coordinating applicant and partner institution(s) / partner(s)
    3. Objectives
    4. Work plan
    5. Qualifications of those involved
    6. Assessment of the chances of success following the pilot measure

Annexes A legal claim to funding cannot be derived from the submission of a project outline. Furthermore, applicants have no legal entitlement to the return of their project outlines. Assessment criteria The submitted project outlines will be evaluated externally on the basis of the following criteria: Exploratory Measures

Basic preconditions

  • Compliance with the prescribed prerequisites for funding (cf. above)
  • Qualification of the applicants and all partners involved

Networking and sustainability:

  • Stimulation and/or consolidation of new partnerships and strategic networks, particularly so-called North-South-South partnerships
  • Quality and scope of the networking
  • Efforts towards longer-term, continuous cooperation projects
  • Intention of promoting young researchers

Partnership and knowledge management

  • Efforts to establish working structures as partners (equal opportunities for participation, needs-based knowledge management, etc.)
  • Promotion of equal opportunities as a basic precondition by involving female researchers (gender aspect)
  • Promotion of equal opportunities as a basic precondition by involving researchers from Africa and Europe

Needs orientation and reproducibility

  • Added value for partner institutions
  • Innovative content
  • Quality and originality of the envisaged cooperation project
  • Practical relevance (need and effect, inter alia from the point of view of the current challenges facing Africa)
  • Appropriate involvement of social scientists
  • Contributions to ecologically adapted, socially acceptable and economically viable concepts ("sustainability") with considerable relevance for the regions concerned.
  • Attempt to ensure the transfer between science and practice
  • Framing the planned activities in existing local, national, regional and global political objectives as well as actors/networks

Pilot measures:

Basic Preconditions

  • Compliance with the prescribed prerequisites for funding (cf. above)
  • Qualification of the applicants and all partners involved

Networking and sustainability:

  • Stimulation and/or consolidation of new partnerships and strategic networks, particularly so-called North-South-South partnerships
  • Quality and scope of the networking
  • Options for longer-term, continuous cooperation projects
  • Promotion of young researchers - qualification measures for young researchers must be an integral part of the application

Partnership and knowledge management

  • Quality of the models for working structures based on partnership (equal opportunities for participation, needs-based knowledge management, etc.)
  • Promotion of equal opportunities as a basic precondition by involving female researchers (gender aspect)
  • Promotion of equal opportunities as a basic precondition by involving researchers from Africa and Europe

Needs orientation and reproducibility

  • Added value for partner institutions
  • Innovative content
  • Quality and originality of the envisaged cooperation project
  • Practical relevance (need and effect, inter alia from the point of view of the current challenges facing Africa)
  • Appropriate involvement of social scientists
  • Contributions to ecologically adapted, socially acceptable and economically viable concepts (sustainability) with considerable relevance for the regions concerned.
  • Ensuring the transfer between science and practice
  • Framing the planned activities in existing local, national, regional and global political objectives as well as actors/networks

The decision on funding and the level of funding will be taken on the basis of the evaluation. All applicants will be informed of the result of the selection procedure in writing by July 2012 at the latest and invited to submit a formal application if applicable.

6.1.2.2 2nd Phase: Submission of formal applications and decision-making procedure
In a second phase, applicants whose project descriptions and outlines have been evaluated positively will be invited to submit a formal application for funding, on which a decision will be taken after final evaluation. The applications of the individual members of the collaboration should be drafted electronically in coordination with the designated coordinator if possible using "easy (AZA or AZK)" https://foerderportal.bund.de/easy/ The IB will conclude a funding contract under private law with the successful applicants on behalf of the BMBF. The approval and payment of, and accounting for, the funds as well as proof and examination of proper use and, if necessary, termination of the funding contract and reclaiming of the funds awarded are governed by the administrative regulations pertaining to section 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO).

6.1.3 Further terms and information
The BMBF expects that the German and African partner institutions will contribute to funding the projects. Applications must indicate a significant self-contribution by the German and African partner institutions (e.g. in the form of personnel costs, provision of infrastructure, etc.), giving an estimate of the volume of the respective self-contribution. The African partner institutions will receive funding as subcontractors of the German applicant. International research institutions located in Africa may be involved in the project as additional partner institutions (without receiving funding). A status seminar will be held once a year to evaluate and develop the funding concept; it is assumed that the partners will participate.

6.2 Procedure regarding ICT study courses: Initial and continuing training measures

6.2. 1 Involvement of the DAAD and request for documents
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has entrusted the DAAD with implementing the funding measure: DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
German Academic Exchange Service
Kennedyallee 91-103
D-53175 Bonn
Internet: http://www.daad.de

Contact person at the DAAD for specialist questions is:
Mr. Cay Etzold
Head of Division Eastern and Southern Africa / 413
Phone: +49  228 - 882 686
Fax: +49  228 - 882 9686
E-Mail: etzold@daad.de

Contact person at the DAAD for administrative/financial information is:
Ms. Heide Albertin
Assistant Head of Division Eastern and Southern Africa / 413
Phone: +49 - 228 - 882 275
Fax: +49 - 228 - 882 9275
E-Mail: albertin@daad.de

6.2.2 DAAD Procedure
Applicants should contact the above mentioned contact persons at the DAAD regarding questions of content and procedure in the field of ICT study courses: initial and continuing training measures. The completed written applications for funding for ICT measures are to be sent to the IB. (Cf. 6.1.) The DAAD will appoint a committee of experts consisting of representatives of the BMBF and the IB as well as independent experts to evaluate the applications in the field of ICT study courses. The BMBF will make the final selection with the aid of the IB and DAAD. The selected ICT study courses will receive funding from the DAAD under a funding contract.

6.2.3 DAAD Evaluation Criteria
The criteria stated under 6.1.3 Pilot Measures apply regarding basic preconditions, networking and long-term nature, partnership basis and knowledge management. The following applies as far as needs orientation and reproducibility are concerned:
  • Added value for the partner institutions, also innovative content if appropriate
  • Quality of the proposed joint study courses
6.2.4 DAAD: Further terms and information
The general terms of funding law and the ANBest-P (General Auxiliary Conditions for Grants Provided for Projects on an Expenditure Basis) and the BNBest-BMBF 98 (Special Auxiliary Terms and Conditions for Funds provided by the BMBF for the Promotion of Projects on Expenditure Basis) shall apply.
A leaflet concerning ICT measures for initial and continuing training can be obtained from the DAAD.

7 Entry into force

These funding regulations will enter into force on the day of their publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger). Bonn,

Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Webers



1According to the EU's definition of SMEs: The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises consists of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 people and which have either an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million. Within this category, the following definitions apply: Small enterprises are defined as enterprises which employ fewer than 50 persons and whose annual turnover or annual balance sheet total does not exceed €10 million. Micro enterprises are defined as enterprises which employ fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover or annual balance sheet total does not exceed €2 million. In general, most SMEs are autonomous since they are either completely independent or have one or more minority partnerships (each less than 25%) with other enterprises (see 2.3.1, p. 16). If that holding rises to no more than 50%, the relationship is deemed to be between partner enterprises (see 2.3.2, p. 20). Above that ceiling, the enterprises are linked (see 2.3.3, p. 23). Source: cf. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/enterprise_policy/sme_definition/sme_user_guide_de.pdf

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