In 2007, heads of state and government from Africa and Europe launched the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) formulated in response to geopolitical changes, globalisation and the processes of integration in Africa and Europe. At the heart of the JAES is an overtly political relationship and among the features distinguishing JAES from previous Africa-Europe policy initiatives is the associated action plan addressing eight priority area for Africa-Europe cooperation. The contribution of scientific and technological research, development and innovation, and the centrality of capacity research for economic and social growth and poverty alleviation, and for addressing global societal challenges of mutual interest is explicit. The value of cooperation between the continents is central and under JAES has already led to significant achievements for mutual benefit. CAAST-Net Plus objectives encourage more and better bi-regional STI cooperation for enhanced outcomes around topics of mutual interest, and particularly in relation to the global societal challenges of climate change, food security and health. CAAST-Net Plus actions rely on bi-regional dialogue among stakeholders for gathering informed opinion and experience about the bi-regional cooperation process, formulating and disseminating it in such a way as to be admissible to the formal bi-regional STI policy dialogue process and to programme owners. Through informing the bi-regional policy dialogue for mutual learning and awareness, through building support for coordinated and innovative approaches to bilateral funding of bi-regional cooperation around global challenges, brokering the public-private relationship to foster improved uptake and translation of bi-regional research partnership outputs into innovative technologies, good and services, and through dedicated mechanisms to encourage bi-regional research partnerships, CAAST-Net Plus will make invaluable contributions to the quality and scope of the Africa-Europe STI relationship for mutual benefit.