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EU expands its research cooperation with Brazil and South Africa

Lisbon, 13 July 2017

The European Union will further boost its research and innovation cooperation with its strategic partners Brazil and South Africa in order to better understand marine ecosystems and climate. The three sides launched today the South Atlantic Research and Innovation Flagship Initiative and signed a joint Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation PDF icon.

The statement was signed in Lisbon's historic Belém Tower by Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Gilberto Kassab, Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications of Brazil and Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa, during a High-Level Ministerial and Scientific event.

Commissioner Moedas said: "The Belém agreement is science diplomacy in action. It moves our cooperation with Brazil and South Africa up a gear, enabling us to better coordinate our research agendas and to make best use of our research and innovation funding. We will be better prepared to exploit the value of the 'blue economy' of the Atlantic Ocean for our citizens. With this agreement, we enter a new era of Blue Enlightenment."

The new South Atlantic Research and Innovation Flagship Initiative will improve the scientific knowledge of marine ecosystems and the links between oceans and climate change, food and energy systems, as well as the dynamics of the Atlantic Ocean and its interconnected circulation systems from Antarctica to the Arctic.

This Statement is building on bilateral achievements, namely the signing of bilateral Declarations of Intent on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation with Brazil and South Africa, and the development of the South-South Framework for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the South and Tropical Atlantic and Southern Ocean. It will also help to closely link research activities in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean with those in the North Atlantic, and explore synergies with other initiatives.

Strengthening international ocean research and data is also one of the focus areas of the Joint Communication on international ocean governance, for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans. This communication and related actions form part of the EU's response to the UN 2030 Agenda and more concretely Sustainable Development Goal number 14 "Life below water". It also is a concrete example of how the EU Global Strategy delivers in practice.

Another major event for international ocean governance is the "Our Ocean" conference in October 2017 in Malta, where with the EU and international partners, public and private, will build on these commitments and announce new ones.

Background

In force since 2007, the EU and Brazil Science & Technology Agreement has led to intensive collaboration activities in Research & Innovation (R&I) with more than 350 common projects. Marine research, Information and Communication Technologies and Health (infectious diseases) have been among the main fields of cooperation. Brazil ranks 5th in terms of participation among non-EU partners in Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for R&I and main instrument for cooperation.

The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the EU and South Africa entered into force in November 1997, which has resulted into 630 joint projects so far. Research Infrastructures, environment and climate change, food and nutrition security and health (infectious diseases) have been among the main fields of cooperation. South Africa ranks 2nd in terms of participation among non-EU partners in Horizon 2020.

 

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