A short country profile for science and technology
4. The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement
Brazil signed an Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with the European Union in 2005. The EU ratified in 2005, Brazil in January 2007. The counterpart on the Brazilian side is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The agreement creates a predictable institutional foundation for a wide variety of knowledge centred cooperation. The implementation of the Agreement is overseen by 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 and Brazil's national mechanisms and research support schemes are also being used in pursuit of the objectives of scientific cooperation under the agreement. The science and technology component of the Action Plan under the Strategic Partnership concluded between the EU and Brazil provides additional impetus to the relationship.
In the following a summary account is given on the Steering Committee meetings under the Agreement in reverse order, with the most recent coming first. The current S&T Cooperation Roadmap will shortly be available here.
Third Steering Committee, Brasilia, 26-27.11.2009
The Third Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for 26-27 November in Brazil to cover a wide-ranging agenda.
Second Steering Committee, Brussels, 23.10.2008
The Second Steering Committee meeting has taken place in Brussels, 23.10.2008. It was co-chaired by Brazilian Ambassador, R. Neiva Tavares, Head of the Brazilian delegation and Mr. Jose-Manuel Silva Rodriguez, Director General for the EC's DG Research. The parties updated each other on recent policy developments.
The European side illustrated the context of developing a more articulate international S&T cooperation strategy adopted by the Commission in 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 is expected that the strategy will provide for more targeted impetus after the generalised mainstreaming of international cooperation throughout the 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7: 2007-2013), the main instrument of European research policy.
The Steering Committee meeting was preceded by in-depth thematic discussions on progress with cooperation so far and an outlook on joint activities in the forthcoming year. Up to this time, Brazilian researchers and teams had secured 55 participations in 39 projects in FP7. Moreover, they reviewed progress on a coordinated call that is planned between Brazil and the Energy Theme in FP7 to bring both sides' research and technology capacities to bear on second generation biofuels (reflected in the 2009 Work Programme of the FP7 Energy Theme).
On the basis of the discussions between the parties, a Rolling S&T Cooperation Roadmap for cooperation has been developed with mutually agreed activities. The S&T Cooperation Roadmap was established initially for one year and will be regularly reviewed and updated.
First Steering Committee, Brasilia, 20-21.06.2007
The First Steering Committee meeting took place in Brasilia, June 2007. The parties assessed progress of cooperation during the first few years of working towards a fully operational S&T cooperation agreement.
The 6th European Research Framework Programme (FP6: 2002-2006) saw 843 Brazilian applications together with their peers from Europe, other Latin American countries or elsewhere. Of these, 159 were successful: 40 in specific international scientific cooperation (INCO), 31 in Information Society, 25 in Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies, 19 in Sustainable Development and Ecosystems and the remainder distributed in other parts of FP6, including Energy, Research Infrastructure and Life Sciences/Health.
The most actively involved EU Member States with Brazil were the UK (180 participations), Germany (178), France (140), Spain (131) and Italy (113). A total of 1,205 participations from EU Member States with Brazil 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 Brazilian side and an FP6 project to strengthen implementation of the S&T cooperation agreement. This co-funding enabled the establishment of a Liaison Office (BBICE) to the Research Framework Programme, to support bilateral policy dialogue and increase awareness and technical and administrative preparedness for cooperation. The direct result was a participation of Brazilian teams in FP6 that more than doubled their results in FP5. The BBICE Office not only embarked on systematic support of Brazilian 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 Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
As a result of the discussions, it was agreed to explore the possibility for a coordinated call in energy as well as seeking other opportunities to intensify cooperation.
The meeting preceded the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement by Presidents José Socrates (Portugal, for the European Council), Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva (Brazil) and José Manuel Durão Barroso (European Commission) in Lisbon in July 2007. Under the Strategic Partnership, a Joint Action Plan (JAP) is being developed in consultations between the two sides. Its science and technology component identifies the following priority areas of cooperation: Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; Social Sciences and Humanities; E-Infrastructure; Energy; Cross-Sectional Studies, Training and Development of Human Resources, Researcher Exchanges; Environment and Climate Change; Nanotechnology and Materials; Health; Safety; Information and Communication Technologies and Transport. The Joint Action Plan is scheduled for adoption at the next Summit in December 2008. More information