AEDIB|NET – Invitation for Digital Innovations Hubs

Pre-Commercial Procurement Invitation for 12 Digital Innovation Hubs In Africa

Will you become the digital transformation accelerator of your region?

If you are aware that digitalization and innovation are today’s fields of opportunity.

If you are a technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, economic, or business development player in your region.

If you are passionate about developing and strengthening your local innovation ecosystem, support local companies in their digital transformation.

If you believe that digitalization can be a key enabler to address major societal challenges, you cannot miss this Invitation!


February 8, 2022
Organizer AEDIB | NET
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Agribusiness, Agritech, Clean technology, Clean technology and energy, ICT, Internet of things (IoT), Smart city solutions

What is AEDIB|NET project?

It is a European H2020 funded project meant as a first step for a broader approach to strengthen an African-European innovation ecosystem.

The project begins by sharing on how to fill digitalization and innovation policy gaps, continues by building digital and entrepreneurship capacity and finally pursuits the creation of three DIHs in Africa, with up to twelve potential DIHs benefitting from a full training programme providing their staffs the knowledge, skills and mentoring support for their set up, establishing the market places, connecting them to private financial stakeholders such as business angels networks, and establishing transcontinental linkages with experts and organizations that will provide the DIHs collaboration opportunities in a context where best practices and experience are shared to establish solid  foundations for the DIHs’ development and sustainability in the long term.

The twelve selected DIHs under this Pre-Commercialization Procurement Invitation are meant to play a relevant role as reference starting points for a Pan-African-European digital innovation bridge and as a source of experience and knowledge to apply in the implementation of future digital innovation hubs in this continent.

Why should you apply to this Invitation?

AEDIB|NET is an outstanding opportunity to engage with Digital Innovation Hubs as valuable organizations meant to accelerate digitalization and innovation on a regional level, contributing to the development of knowledge-based entrepreneurship and company growth on the basis of new and more competitive products that attend actual market needs, more efficient processes, and an extended market outreach through digitalization.

The project provides the participants access to a unique ecosystem of first class experienced European and African organizations prepared and willing to contribute to the creation of these three DIHs providing them with the knowledge, insights, elements and tools that will assure they build sounding value proposals and they actually become the organizations their regions require to boost digitalization and innovation, establishing new paths for their economic development.

Who can apply?

The Invitation is meant for groups of a minimum of two organizations willing to enter into Consortia to create a Digital Innovation Hub, providing altogether the necessary complementary expertise and knowledge to establish a consistent and sounding DIH proposal.

The Consortia members may respond to many kinds of profiles and activities such as research and technology organizations (RTOs); University research institutes; research, development and innovation units of private sector companies; technology hubs, science, technology and innovation parks; other innovation and research organizations; entrepreneurship incubators or business accelerators; industry associations or chambers of commerce; professional associations; local banks or funding organizations; training and skills development organizations; innovation and regional development agencies; or other public administration organizations, among others.

Only the authorized Consortium representatives will be allowed to apply, fill in, or introduce modifications in the application forms.

Specialization areas

Each DIH must be focused in at least one of the three (3) following specialization areas:

  • Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Smart Cities
  • Digital Trade
  • Clean Tech

Additionally, the applicants can have other complementary digital or non-digital technology specialization areas.

AEDIB|NET will select twelve (12) DIHs from these four (4) specialization areas, covering altogether at least three different geographic regions of Africa.

The Pre-Commercial Procurement process will finalize with the selection of three offers for the creation of Digital Innovation Hubs in Africa, in each of the following three technology specialization areas, i.e., Climate Smart Agriculture, Smart Cities and Digital Trade, and alternatively in Clean Tech only in the case that either one of the first three did not provide an offer considered of sufficient quality or fit for the project’s purposes and goals. The three final offers procured will cover at least two regions of Africa. Please refer to this page for more details

How to apply?

Proposals are submitted only in English language and exclusively through the online platform. Filling in the application form, within the deadlines of January 18, 2022, at 16:00 Lagos (Nigeria) local time, as first cut-off date; and February 8, 2022, at 16:00 Lagos (Nigeria) local time, as second cut-off date, but to avoid any potential problem during the submission process please do not wait until the last days.

A submitted proposal can be edited and updated as often as needed until the closing deadline of the open Invitation. Only the last saved version of the submitted proposal at the time of the Invitation closing deadline will be considered for evaluation. Any further modification of the proposal will not be possible. All applicants must submit and include the declaration of honor in their applications, so please carefully read the declaration of honor template included in the application form. The submission platform will allow the applicant to download the complete proposal for reference purposes.

AEDIB|NET will take into consideration the existence of potential conflict of interest among the applicants and one or more AEDIB|NET Consortium partners. AEDIB|NET Consortium partners, their affiliated entities, employees, and permanent collaborators cannot take part in the program.
Only the authorized Consortium representatives will be allowed to apply, fill in, or introduce modifications in the application form.

What are the criteria to assess the proposals?

Proposals are assessed under three (3) award criteria as expressed in the Guide for Applicants:

1. Relevance:

Extent to which the project will address specific and actual needs and opportunities, reinforcing and securing the digital technology ecosystem in the region, its alignment with the objectives of this Invitation, its contribution to existing local and regional policies and strategies in the areas of digitalization and innovation according to the DIH’s technological capabilities and specialization areas, the project’s capability to overcome financial obstacles, build digital capacity, foster entrepreneurship, and address other major challenges.

2. Impact:

Extent to which, along the program, the DIH will advance in its set-up and deliver results and outcomes, the plans to communicate and disseminate the project and its achievements, strengthen the competitiveness of its target users (namely SMEs supported in digitization efforts) resulting in benefits for the society, improve the employment conditions and activate entrepreneurship, build digital capacity, and contribute to the creation of a real digital Pana-African and Transcontinental innovation bridge.

3. Implementation:

This criterion evaluates the overall Consortium and its participants’ maturity, capacity, and experience, including the one in its specialization areas, as well as their teams to participate and carry out the work to create the DIH, the soundness of their participation proposal and the resources provided for it.

Supporting documents

Read the official Guide for Applicants, the document explaining the application and evaluation process in detail.
Download here

Have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) file to check the answers to the doubts you might have with regards to the application submission and requirements.
Download here

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