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Reference Number ES/T014962/1
Title ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy: UKRI GCRF Partnership Programme for Capacity Building
Status Started
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Solar Energy) 15%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) 15%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 15%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 15%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 5%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 10%;
AREA STUDIES (Middle Eastern and African Studies) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 100%
Principal Investigator Professor J G rgens
No email address given
Process Engineering Building
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 April 2020
End Date 31 March 2023
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £609,773
Industrial Sectors
Region Overseas
Programme ESRC - RCUK GCRF - Grants
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor J G rgens , Process Engineering Building, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Cape Town, South Africa (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (0.000%)
Project Contact , Makerere University, Uganda (0.000%)
Project Contact , Usmanu Danfodiyo University (0.000%)
Project Contact , Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rhodes University, South Africa (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Lagos, Nigeria (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives For this particular call, the ARUA CoE: Energy has set out four main objectives.1. Firstly, to facilitate and participate in human capacity development, with specific emphasis on training and empowering early career researchers (ECRs) through dual mode short- and long-term mechanisms, which will be attained by (i) creating a critical mass of expertise in renewable energy and energy in general to support higher education, industry, and the public and private sector, and (ii) provide and create opportunities for ECRs to become highly-skilled and experienced engineers and scientists capable of successfully competing in the global knowledge society and contributing meaningfully to the African knowledge economy.2. Secondly, it will serve as a central networking hub through multidisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations will be pursued through (i) connecting researchers from different disciplines and universities to allow cross pollination of ideas and concepts, specifically revolving around implementation of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (RSE) within the context of the food-energy-and-water (FEW) Nexus, and (ii) where ECRs can be embedded in a multidisciplinary community of practice from early on in their careers, and where the opportunity is created for interacting with and learning from experienced researchers, and (iii) by acting as a platform where multiple academic and non-academic stakeholders can interact and contribute toward overall strengthening of the planned research.3. Thirdly, to play a key enabling role through the Hub and Spoke model in facilitating the development of collaborative, capacity building research through which researcher capacity can be built and strengthened through (i) co- conceptualisation of research projects with emphasis on involving ECRs at this stage of project development, (ii) connecting ECRs and experienced researchers within particular case studies in order to facilitate mentorship and a 'learning-by-doing' approach, (iii) collaboratively planning and executing the research, with emphasis on broad-based and inclusive participation in the projects.4. Finally, to participate in outreach, awareness and advocacy where (i) RSE awareness is created, maintained and strengthened among a wide range of stakeholders, including partner institutions, policy makers and governing bodies, communities and the private sector, particularly during annual workshop events, and (ii) knowledge about RSE (including project results) are communicated and transferred to stakeholders including public servants, NGO's, communities and the private sector.
Abstract Africa is a continent blessed with immense human potential, but it faces a lot of complex and stubborn developmental challenges. Home-grown solutions to these challenges are slow to emerge as there is a drastic shortage of researchers on the continent, which means that there are not enough academics to do the research required nor are there enough academics to train the next generation of young researchers who need to do this research in future. On top of these constraints, tackling problems dealing with development is a complex and nuanced issue which needs the input from a lot of different scientific disciplines, but getting different disciplines to work together effectively on a common goal is a problem in itself.The project sets out to tackle the shortage in research capacity in Africa by developing a set of training and research activities aimed at bringing young researchers on board, and by creating the opportunity for experienced researchers to also participate in research groups that span different scientific disciplines. The training of researchers will happen in two ways, (i) by a set of very targeted courses aimed at developing the skills required to plan and do good research, and to make the results useful to other groups of people who may want to use the results, and (ii) through setting up research groups around a particular problem, where the research groups will contain a mixture of young and experienced researchers, and researchers that look at the problem from different perspectives e.g. from engineering, agricultural or human and social perspectives. In this way, the development of young researchers will be accelerated so that more people are trained to take up and deal with the rigours of an academic career, while the opportunity for young researchers to learn from more experienced ones is invaluable to make sure that they receive good training.The project will further focus specifically on topics of how renewable and sustainable energy can be applied in different African settings in an way that ensures that benefits are shared equally, and that different groups and specifically women get the opportunity to benefit. In particular, methods will be sought to employ renewable energy to benefit African small farmers and the entire food chain from farmer to market. Small farms and the distribution of products from these farmers is extremely important in Africa, as these small farmers collectively produce up to 70% of the continent's food, and any improvement that they can gain through using renewable energy in their farming and households is likely to make an important impact on their lives. However, in order to develop solutions that are successful and useful to them, one needs to approach the question form many different angles, including the type of technology, where and how to incorporate it into the farming or food chain activities, who are the people who will benefit, how they will benefit and whether the solution can be improved to make sure that a larger number of people will benefit. A further specific topic area will be on how renewable energy can be applied in large informal settlements to address scarcity to energy, and how to ensure that particularly women are empowered through renewable energy solutions.Through taking a broad approach to renewable and sustainable energy issues in Africa, and combining dedicated training and research activities, the project hopes to make an important contribution to training the top class African researchers of tomorrow, and to broaden their knowledge on how to tackle some of the most pressing developmental concerns on the African continent by working together with researchers who may not be in the same field as themselves.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 29/09/20