A short country profile for science and technology
3. The National S&T System
. National policies for science, technology and innovation
. The Universities are a cornerstone of the S&T system
. Science and Technology (S&T) and Research and Development (R&D)
. Other actors in the scientific landscape
5. S&T Cooperation Roadmap: 2010-2011 96 KB
4. The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement
Argentina signed an Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with the European Community in September 1999. Both sides ratified in the following year.
The agreement creates a predictable institutional foundation for a wide variety of knowledge centred cooperation. The Agreement entails regular meetings of the Steering Committee, which offer opportunities for developing bilateral policy dialogue and promote, monitor and steer cooperation. The European Framework Programmes are a major instrument for implementation on the European side and Argentina's national mechanisms and research support schemes are also being used in pursuit of the objectives of scientific and technological cooperation. Many EU Member States are also actively engaged with Argentina in S&T cooperation.
In the following a summary account is given on each of the Steering Committee meetings under the Agreement in reverse order, with the most recent coming first. The current S&T Cooperation Roadmap is available here.
Fourth Steering Committee, Buenos Aires, 11.05.2009
The Fourth Steering Committee meeting took place in Buenos Aires, 11 May 2009 and was co-chaired by S&T&I Minister, José Lino Salvador Barañao, and EC Research Director General, José Manuel Silva Rodríguez. Both parties fielded substantial delegations in order to cover the growing range of thematic cooperation and to review progress. They set out briefing each other with recent policy and institutional developments, such as the Commission Communication on "A Strategic European Framework for International Science and Technology Cooperation", to which the European Council responded with a Decision in December 2008 endorsing the thrust of the Communication and the establishment of a 'Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC) composed of senior officials from EU Member States and the Commission and which convened for the its constituting session in February 2009. See the section on the International Dimension of ERA for more information. On the Argentinean side four areas have been prioritised for S&T cooperation: Health, Biotechnology, Information Technologies and Nanotechnology. Moreover, three Technology Platforms were created in order to solve problems in these areas and thematic FP7 Contacts have been nominated and are operational to further promote S&T cooperation with Europe across all major components of FP7.
A key point of the discussion was the implementation of project twinning between European, Argentinean and regional MERCOSUR research projects in the area of Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as a result of setting up a thematic working group. A workshop with the leaders of the projects to be twinned had been conducted successfully prior to the Committee. An FP7 InfoDay drew a big audience to hear from MinCyT and European Commission staff about the general orientations of cooperation and specific opportunities forthcoming in the 2010 work programmes to be published end July 2009.
Argentina has already 56 confirmed participations in 41 projects in the first two years of the 7th Research Framework Programme. Its teams are valued partners in collaborations in many thematic areas of FP7 and there is also an encouraging upward trend in participation in the People Programme of FP7.
As a result of the meeting an update of the S&T Cooperation Roadmap is being discussed between the parties.
Third Steering Committee, Brussels, 17.04.2008
The Third Steering Committee meeting took place in Brussels, 17 April 2008. The parties updated each other on recent policy developments. It was co-chaired by EC Research Director General, José Manuel Silva Rodríguez, and Argentina's new S&T&I Minister, José Lino Salvador Barañao.
The European side illustrated the context of developing a more articulate international S&T cooperation strategy by July 2008 in the context of the renewed Lisbon Agenda for Growth and Jobs and the increasing recognition of the central role of knowledge across all policies and their implementation. It was expected that the strategy would provide for more targeted impetus after the generalised mainstreaming of international cooperation throughout the 7th Research Framework Programme (2007-2013), the main instrument of European research policy.
The Argentinean side explained the structural changes taking place as a result of upgrading the former Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation under the Education Ministry to a cabinet level portfolio. In particular, efforts were already underway to take a more focused approach towards science, technology and innovation. Instead of leaving most of the new knowledge production in the hands of some 1500 small research projects per year typical of previous approaches, specific additional mechanisms were being put in place to fund targeted innovation activities. Moreover, the ministry wants to focus some resources on a number of flagship activities, in particular long-term institutional (bilateral) collaborations. Cooperation with Europe is a priority.
Among the agreements for stepping up this cooperation were (i) setting up a working group between Commission services in the area of Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology, the Argentinean S&T Ministry and relevant funding agency to make progress towards twinning of European and Argentinean research projects in selected areas of joint interest; (ii) exploration of joint funding in other thematic areas and (iii) a commitment by Argentina to nominate thematic FP7 contacts in key areas. The development of S&T cooperation was considered very positive by both sides. Argentina will also continue its strong interest in fostering bi-regional cooperation.
In the meantime, the discussions at and beyond the previous steering committee meetings about connecting scientific excellence more strongly innovation at national and sub-regional level, translated into the inclusion of a EU-MERCOSUR cooperation project in the biotechnology area. Biotech EU-MERCOSUR, co-funded by European technical cooperation was formally launched 12 December 2007. It aims at developing human and institutional capacities and the use of biotechnology in the agriculture and livestock sectors in the MERCOSUR countries. It will pay particular attention to increasing the use of science in the productive sector of the economy. More information of this flagship project among MERCOSUR countries.
On the basis of the wide-ranging discussions between the parties, a Rolling Roadmap for cooperation will be developed with mutually agreed activities. The Roadmap has been established initially for one year and will be regularly reviewed and updated.
Second Steering Committee, Buenos Aires, 07.12.2006
The Second Steering Committee meeting took place in Buenos Aires, 7 December 2006. The parties examined, among others, the impact assessment of the Agreement and progress with scientific cooperation. They agreed unanimously to extend the validity of the agreement on the same terms for another five years. More details on the meeting can be obtained here.
The 6th European Research Framework Programme (FP6 - 2002-2006) saw 1,663 Argentinean applications together with their peers from Europe, other Latin American countries or elsewhere. Ninety-four of these were successful in 72 different projects.
The most actively involved EU Member States with Argentina were the UK (107 participations), Germany (98), France (83), Italy (75) and the Netherlands (62). A total of 751 participations from EU Member States with Argentina were registered in FP6.
The increase in scientific cooperation from FP5 to FP6 was, in no small measure due to a support project co-funded between the Argentinean side and an FP6 project to strengthen implementation of the S&T cooperation agreement. This co-funding enabled the establishment of a so-called 'Oficina de enlace' ( Liaison Office, ABEST project ) to the Research Framework Programme, support bilateral policy dialogue and increase awareness and technical and administrative preparedness for cooperation. The direct result was a participation of Argentinean teams in FP6 that more than doubled their results in FP5. The ABEST Office not only embarked on systematic support of Argentinean university and research centre-based scientists, but also engaged in developing coordination with other Latin American organisations supporting research cooperation with Europe, particularly in those countries having bilateral S&T agreements with Europe, such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
Some highlights about various forms of scientific cooperation between Argentina and the European Community are provided in a leaflet (in Spanish).
First Steering Committee, Brussels, 15.11.2002
The First Steering Committee meeting took place in Brussels, 15.11.2002. The parties assessed progress of cooperation during the first two years of the S&T cooperation agreement, which had suffered from the stringent budgetary conditions affecting Argentina during the peak period of its economic crisis. Nevertheless, some 30 joint research projects were under implementation at the time, testifying to the scientific excellence of the partner institutions. It was considered desirable to increase links between this excellence in scientific cooperation and the emerging opportunities that could arise out of strengthening the partnership between MERCOSUR and Europe. These wider relations were pursued at the level of foreign relations.
The first five years of the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement have been assessed by an independent expert. The impact assessment is available here.