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First anniversary of the Africa-Europe CoRE initiative

20th June 2024

The Africa-Europe Clusters of Research Excellence (CoRE) has launched a new logo to mark the first anniversary since the initiative was established by the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild).

In June 2023, ARUA and The Guild announced the launch of the Africa-Europe CoRE, under which top researchers based at African and European universities are working together in twenty clusters. These multilateral collaborations each have an ambitious long-term plan for research, innovation and education.

Each CoRE was developed with the aim to address societal and scientific challenges framed by the AU-EU Innovation Agenda through sustainable and equitable scientific partnerships. By forming and supporting these CoREs, the institutions involved are innovating a new way to carry out global collaboration in an unequal world, empowering academics from both continents to overcome structural barriers in pursuit of excellence.

Over the past year, CoREs have honed their research strategies, with most making ambitious bids for third-party funding. Many Clusters have already launched pioneering masterclasses for Masters- and PhD-level students. And some Clusters have become novel sites for inter- and transdisciplinary debate, throwing new spotlight on connectivities that had previously not been recognised, creating new fields of research and practice in the process. Perhaps most significant has been their enthusiastic engagement with ARUA’s new PhD programme funded by the Mastercard Foundation, as this enables the CoREs to fulfil a major ambition, to develop new and innovative PhD training that fosters the capacity of African science.

The CoRE initiative is led by ARUA and The Guild but participation is open to organisations beyond our networks, bringing together partners from over 100 institutions across 42 countries.

Ernest Aryeetey, ARUA Secretary-General, has noted that “Clusters of Research Excellence are doing exactly as had been projected in the ARUA strategic plan (2022-2027). Active collaboration between African and European partners in an equitable manner was always the ARUA intention, and this is playing out very well with the CoRE. The current partnership to develop thousands of excellent PhDs will show the strength of well-structured collaboration in tackling some of the world’s difficult development challenges”.

Speaking on behalf of The Guild, Jan Palmowski said “Within only a year, the Clusters of Research Excellence have already exceeded our expectations by far. Now we need to find new ways to evaluate and communicate the progress we are making, to institutions, funders, and policymakers alike. The new logo will support us in this endeavour, as it expresses African and European connectedness within our global context and underlines the openness of the Cluster model beyond ARUA and The Guild.”