The first Africa-UniNet call was open from 1st of August - 30th of September 2020. Within the deadline 52 project proposals were submitted to the Africa-UniNet office. Out of the 52 submissions, 35 project proposals are coordinated by the African member institution, while 17 were submitted by the Austrian member institution.
All current Africa-UniNet member institutions were eligible to take part in the call. 24 out of 32 African member institutions and 14 out of 17 Austrian member institutions are involved in the project proposals. In total, Africa-UniNet currently consists of 49 founding members. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna leads the field of involved member institutions by participating in 19 project proposals. It is followed by University of Pretoria, South Africa (participation in 9 submissions) and Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia (participation in 9 submissions).
In total, 139 different branches of science were named in the project proposals, ranging from agriculture via fine arts to taxation and veterinary pharmacology.
With Africa-UniNet an instrument has been created to enable and strengthen existing and new interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research cooperation between Austria and African countries.
Africa-UniNet promotes excellent research based on mutual knowledge exchange. It creates a space for international cooperation between researchers and with other actors by financing cooperative research projects. While the thematic scope of the projects is not restricted, they set out to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time they enhance the scientific foundation of the involved institutions and reinforce the formation of the network itself by promoting new partnerships between Austrian and African universities and research institutions and by strengthening existing ties. Overall, they form the basis of a strong and profound Austrian-African Research Network – the Africa-UniNet.