Fostering Innovation: Insights from the Workshop of the Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) on Building National Research and Innovation funds of the Policy Support Facility (PSF).

The Workshop of the Mutual Learning Exercise (MLE) on Building National Research and Innovation funds of the Policy Support Facility (PSF) serves as a key platform for exchanging insights, successes, and challenges encountered in the development and implementation of these funds. This collaborative endeavor offers participating countries the opportunity to showcase best practices and outcomes while also facilitating the refinement of existing mechanisms and addressing any shortcomings.

Participation in the PSF-MLE is particularly beneficial for countries that have already established research and innovation (R&I) funds, as it allows them to highlight successful strategies and outcomes. Additionally, it provides a valuable opportunity to fine-tune existing processes and address any challenges encountered along the way. For countries in the early stages of establishing R&I funds, or those still in the planning phase, engagement in the PSF-MLE is invaluable. It enables them to learn from the experiences of others, thereby avoiding potential pitfalls and ensuring the efficient allocation of resources.

Moreover, the PSF-MLE fosters the creation of a network among participating national public authorities responsible for R&I. This network facilitates ongoing collaboration, knowledge sharing, and mutual support beyond the duration of the workshop.

Against this backdrop, representatives from twenty OACPS countries have convened in Lomé, Togo, to share their experiences and insights. The gathering aims to collectively advance the development of R&I funds in their respective countries.

Explore the Press Release and Watch a Video Recap of the Opening Day Highlights:

An essential outcome of this PSF-MLE workshop is the forthcoming release of a comprehensive ‘Handbook on the Development and Implementation of National Research and Innovation Funds’. This handbook will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers and practitioners involved in establishing and managing R&I funds. It will encompass a compilation of shared challenges encountered by countries during the development and implementation of such funds, along with practical suggestions for overcoming them.

Furthermore, the handbook will feature a regional benchmarking analysis, presenting both successful practices and challenges in the design and execution of nationals R&I funds. By examining primary R&I instruments and funding mechanisms across several African countries and beyond, the handbook will provide valuable insights and guidance for policymakers seeking to enhance their R&I ecosystems.

Overall, the PSF-MLE workshop and the accompanying handbook represent significant milestones in the collective effort to strengthen research and innovation capacities across the OACPS region. Through collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, participating countries can pave the way for more effective and impactful R&I initiatives, ultimately contributing to sustainable development and prosperity.

Watch the video presentation of the workshop held in Lomé.