The vast majority of existing infrastructure is not ready for the future of mobility. Automation, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility are upon us, but the current infrastructure to facilitate these technologies are often not considered.
To address the challenge of infrastructure on the continent, The Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), together with the European Commission recently signed a Grant Agreement on 01 January 2021 for a period of five years, to promote scholarship and collaborative research between African states on sustainable infrastructure. The commission will provide funding through the Africa Sustainable Infrastructure Mobility (ASIM) program, to support scholarships and research to develop solutions for Africa’s infrastructure challenges.
Prof Innocent Musonda, UJ Associate Professor: Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying and ASIM project leader says: “I am delighted that through our shared values of agility and our focus on enterprise, this is an opportunity to develop and strengthen African partnerships, contribute to capacity development and collaborate on research to ensure sustainable infrastructure on the continent.”
The ASIM, endeavours to develop education, training and research capacity for African professionals to enhance the delivery of Africa’s sustainable infrastructure. Any researcher, Masters/ Ph.D. candidates, and supporting staff for research at any member institution of the consortium may apply for a grant to travel and associated costs to visit other member institutions to establish and extend collaboration for research.
The ASIM project is a consortium of five universities: Ardhi University, Covenant University, University of Johannesburg, University of Malawi and Leeds Beckett University as the technical partner.
“This agreement is distinctive as it combines two innovative visions of higher education: pan-European and pan-African, that strongly endorse the cross-pollination of ideas, know-how and cultural values,” added Prof Musonda.
While applications that involve existing collaborations will be considered, applications that target new collaborations and encourage diversity especially female applicants are particularly encouraged.
The Grant includes but is not limited to co-operation concerning:
- Contribute to Sustainability through capacity development to influence sustainable infrastructure delivery;
- Scholarships of up to 17,000 Euros per year per applicant excluding travel expenses will be made available
- Enhance the quality of PG training
- Enhance management skills of academic staff engaged in managing postgraduate provisions in partner institutions;
- Enhance the skills and competencies of academic staff in research, training, and supervision of postgraduate research;
- Develop an interdisciplinary research agenda for Sustainable Infrastructure in Africa beyond the project duration period,
- Create a critical mass of researchers focusing on sustainable infrastructure in Africa
- Women participants will receive additional funding