Politecnico di Milano hosts course for African Innovation Brokers

Part of G7 Emerging African Innovation Leaders project promoted by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development

The five-week course commenced on 25th September at the MIP in the Politecnico di Milano and is dedicated to a group of innovation leaders from 6 African countries (Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mozambique). The project was developed by the Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino and is financed by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development.

More than 450 applications were received, of which 21 high-level leaders were selected, including officials from international bodies and institutions, entrepreneurs and university professors. The five females selected all have a high technical-scientific profile. The leaders act as brokers, developing a second generation of innovators in their home countries to form a community of over 200 African talents. They also attended the World Manufacturing Forum 27 - 28 September in Cernobbio.

Emerging African Innovation Leaders, which includes this course, is a training programme inspired by the conclusions of the Italian G7 Presidency which aims to promote prosperity in the continent through the impetus that could be created by adopting the Next Production Revolution (NPR). A revolution in the production sector which, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can be built on modern paradigms such as new technologies, digital, new materials and new processes. The aim is to use these technologies for sustainable growth, to increase productivity and improve standards of life.

After the innovation leaders’ five-week training programme, other initiatives are planned: implementing country studies; a meeting between the Italian innovation ecosystem and the private sector; the creation of a virtual laboratory (Africa Innovation Cradle) to support activities and collaboration within the network and train the second generation of innovators by exploiting business opportunities; and the dissemination plan to publicise the project’s financial sustainability and incentivise investments.

The project is managed in collaboration with an international Advisory Board with representatives from institutions, international bodies, the private sector and academia.