The primary aim of this research paper is to analyse and discuss how the implementation of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) can maximize the impact of capacity building in scientific research and in turn, contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is discussed that there has been a movement towards an evolution of PPPs systems, particularly in regard to new financial methods for education and scientific research. This paper demonstrates that international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) are increasingly encouraging the adoption of PPPs. Also discussed are the challenges faced during the cooperation between the private sector and multilateral organisations during the adoption of PPPs. Practical casework from the African continent is also explored. This article showcases joint-initiatives (such as the UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit) that aim to create fertile ground for spillover effects, such as North-South and South-South scientific cooperation, as well as gender empowerment in research. Following the controversial literature, PPPs can catalyse stronger relationships among heterogeneous actors which include international organisations, industry, research centres and universities.