Finland-Africa Platform for Innovation (SDG 9)

Project Details


The Finland-Africa Platform for Innovation (SDG 9) is a large-scale, thematic network supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland under its Global Internationalisation Programme 2021-2024. Contributing to the implementation of Finland’s Africa Strategy and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, FAPI works to promote research collaboration between Finnish and African higher education research institutions through facilitating researcher mobility and interdisciplinary research exchange.

The Finland-Africa Platform for Innovation, as implemented at Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) in collaboration with the University of Jyväskylä,is an SDG 9 project enhancing innovative and multidisciplinary South-South and North-South collaboration with African scholars. Through its collaborative approach, the project has been successful in building opportunities for dialogue and scientific collaboration between Finnish and African scholars.

Built around innovation, the project explores social innovation in Africa and the different roles and meanings such innovation has for social justice. To enable cross-disciplinary scientific discussion on the topic, the project has brought together African and Finnish scholars from different scientific fields, including human rights law, business and economics, development studies, and ethnography.

A central tool for strengthening the mutual exchange of information and collaborative partnerships within the project has been the FAPI mobility framework. The latter was an opportunity for African scholars to conduct research at the two collaborating universities in Finland, and build lasting collaborations. The discussions within the project have also been facilitated through research workshops organised both in person and virtually. Beyond the scope of the FAPI framework, these activities have already sown the seeds for new partnerships, as shown by the development of an application for research funding focused on further researching the theme of social innovation. This next level of joint research activities allows for further institutionalisation of the collaborations and the broadening of existing networks.

A key output of the collaboration is the publication of an edited monograph on “Social Justice Innovation in Africa”, featuring a strong roster of cross-disciplinary African scholars (Routledge 2024). Another result of the FAPI collaboration is the creation of a new course as a joint effort between the ÅAU Business School and the School of Law. This new course showcases the project’s strong cross-disciplinary nature and further highlights its innovative element. In terms of outreach, and with a predominantly South-South focus, the project results will be presented by the research team in the form of a panel at the upcoming Law and Development (LDRn) conference in Delhi, India, in August 2023. The project will also be presented at the Africa Days event, held in Turku in October 2023, with the aim to seek further opportunities for collaboration.
Short titleFAPI
Effective start/end date01/01/2131/12/24

Collaborative partners

  • Åbo Akademi University
  • University of Turku (lead)
  • Aalto University
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • LUT University
  • University of Oulu
  • University of Vaasa
  • University of the Arts Helsinki
  • Centria University of Applied Sciences
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
  • Humak University of Applied Sciences
  • Häme University of Applied Sciences
  • JAMK University of Applied Sciences
  • South Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
  • Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
  • Karelia University of Applied Sciences
  • LAB University of Applied Sciences
  • Laurea University of Applied Sciences
  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences
  • Novia University of Applied Sciences
  • Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
  • Savonia University of Applied Sciences
  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences
  • Turku University of Applied Sciences
  • Vaasa University of Applied Sciences


  • Ministry of Education and Culture

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities