For EIF, partnerships with academia are crucial to finding sustainable and innovative home-grown solutions to the trading challenges faced by the poorest countries worldwide. Academic collaborations are an important part of research and development, helping policy makers and programme implementers stay ahead of the game.

With the University of Zambia, EIF helped introduce trade policy and development courses, working to create a strong base of trade experts in the country. Graduates, trained by Swedish and Zambian trade professionals, have gone on to jobs in the country's Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

At EIF's 2018 Global Forum on Inclusive Trade for LDCs, Joost Pauwelyn, Professor of International Law at The Graduate Institute Geneva, gave a keynote talk at the "Forging new paths for LDCs in multilateral and regional trade" panel, in which he spoke of the need for evidence-based trade policy and strategy.