16-17 April 2013
Third Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation
Third Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation: On 16 and 17 April 2013, the third EU-Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Senior Officials meeting was convened in Brussels. This yearly meeting is held alternatively in Europe and in the country holding the CELAC presidency. The event was attended by representatives of 21 countries from the CELAC region, together with representatives from EU Member States, coordinators of relevant networking projects, and European Commission and EEAS officials. H.E. Carlos Applegren Balbontin, Chile's Ambassador to the EU, and Ms Anneli Pauli, Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation opened the meeting.
In a far ranging discussion on ways to maximise existing initiatives at EU and Member State levels, the meeting participants took part of reports from the four thematic Working Groups and the cross-cutting working group on Existing and New Instruments. A new working group on Health was launched. This new working group will be co-chaired by Spain and Brazil with the support of the EU-LAC-Health coordination action. The meeting also approved the setting up of a committee to prepare a future working group on Career Development of Researchers to be co-chaired by Finland and Chile. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chile handed the Presidency to Cuba, which was represented by Lina Dominguez, Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Environment. The next meeting will take place in Costa Rica.
13 March 2013
Inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA)
Chief Scientific Adviser Attends Inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA): On 13 March, the Chief Scientific Adviser to President Barroso, Professor Anne Glover, represented the European Commission at the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub-Millimeter Array (ALMA). With 66 parabolic antennas placed at 5050m on the Chajnantor Plateau on the Chilean-Bolivian border, ALMA is the largest radio telescope in the world, offering unprecedented insights into the universe. The 1 billion Euro project has been co-funded by the Member States of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and Chile. The inauguration took place at the ALMA Operations Centre near San Pedro de Atacama. Chile's President SebastiÃ¡n PiÃ±era gave the opening speech. Other speakers included Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director-General, Teru Fukui, Japanese MEXT Senior vice Minister, and Subra Suresh, the President of the US National Science Foundation. On this occasion the Chief Scientific Adviser met with high-level participants, including the Science Ministers of Portugal (Nuno Crato), Austria (Karlheinz TÃ¶chterle) and the Czech Republic (Petr Fiala), as well as senior representatives of the global astronomy community. The inauguration was widely covered in the media worldwide.
11 March 2013
EU-Chile Steering Committee
The 7th meeting of the Steering Committee under the EU-Chile S&T Cooperation Agreement took place on 11 March in Santiago, Chile. The meeting was co-chaired by Sigi Gruber, Head of Unit, International Cooperation Directorate, DG RTD, and by JosÃ© Miguel Aguilera, President of Chile's National Commission for Science and Technology. Rafael Dochao, Head of the EU Delegation in Chile, gave the welcoming address. The meeting took stock of recent developments in research and research funding on both sides, and addressed potential new areas for bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Specific cooperation opportunities exist in the "natural laboratories" that the country offers. These include: astronomy (extremely clear skies over the Atacama Desert); geological research (volcanoes, glaciers and frequent earthquakes); marine research (long coastline and strong currents); and polar research (proximity of southern Chile to Antarctica). These "natural laboratories" offer unique conditions for enhanced S&T cooperation in key areas such as Earth observation, polar research, disaster management, "green mining" and renewable energy. The recently launched BILAT project CEST+I will play a key role in identifying promising new areas of cooperation, under the broad areas identified under the H2020 themes, and involving interested EU Member States.
31 July 2012
On 31 July, the InfoDay "2013 Calls: opportunities for Chilean science and innovation in the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union" was convened at the University of Santiago de Chile. It gathered over a hundred Chilean researchers and entrepreneurs interested in getting first-hand information about the 2013 work programmes and calls opened a few days earlier.
The InfoDay was organised by the Chilean Liaison Office to the European Union at the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT). The presence of NCPs and policy makers allowed for a very rich exchange. Together with the success stories this resulted in a useful and insightful day for everyone. For more information about the event, please visit the Liaison Office website.
25 May 2012
TVisit of the European Research Council to Chile
On 25 May, Secretary General Professor Donald Dingwell and Silvia Alvarez Santos from the European Research Council (ERC) concluded their successful two-day visit to Chile. During their stay in Chile, they met with representatives of REUNA (CorporaciÃ³n Red Universitaria Nacional) and the EVALSO project (supported by FP7), and paid a visit to the observatory of Cerro CalÃ¡n. The two ERC representatives also met with two Vice-Rectors of the University of Chile and researchers of its Department of Geology and its laboratories (Centro de Excelencia en Geotermia de Los Andes â FONDAP). A meeting with the Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Fernando Schmidt, a conference organised by Prof. Dingwell at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), and a meeting with the Senate's Committee on the Future and several University Rectors were important events in the institutional part of the visit. During lunch at the MoFA with Ambassador Gabriel Rodriguez, the President of Chile, Sebastian PiÃ±era, unexpectedly showed up and greeted the participants. A meeting with the Executive Director and the Director of International Relations at CONICYT (ComisiÃ³n Nacional de InvestigaciÃ³n CientÃfica y TecnolÃ³gica - National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research) concluded the dense programme. The visit was organised by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with broad participation of representatives of universities and public institutions. CONICYT intends to include the ERC in their general promotion for science and technology cooperation between Europe and Chile.
Chile signed an Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with the European Community in September 2002. Both sides ratified it in the following year. The agreement has a validity of five years and is renewed tacitly for the following five years unless a change is suggested.
The agreement creates an institutional foundation for a wide variety of knowledge centered cooperation. Regular meetings of the Steering Committee offer opportunities for developing bilateral policy dialogue and promote, monitor and steer cooperation. The European Framework Programmes are a major instrument for implementation, and Chile's national mechanisms and research support schemes are also being used in pursuit of the objectives of international scientific cooperation. Many EU Member States are also actively engaged with Chile in S&T cooperation.
The main areas of cooperation under the Agreement have been in the thematic areas of Health; Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; Environment; Nanotechnology; ICT and Energy.
During the first six years of the 7th Framework Programme (up to May 2013), 97 Chilean institutional partners have been supported in some 49 signed grant agreements for different projects, mainly under the "People" Specific Programme - Marie Curie Actions - (45 participations). Chilean institutions have participated in projects in the areas of ICT (10); Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology (9) and Environment (8). Forty Chilean Researchers have come to Europe with Marie Curie Fellowships
Almost 10 million â¬ has been committed to the Chilean participants for all these different activities.
Chile is also very active within the context of regional cooperation between the EU and Latin America, notably in the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation. Chile co-chairs, together with Finland, the Working Group dealing with ICT.
The project "Chile-European Union STI Initiative" is a continuation of two previous bilateral projects. The project aims at supporting the enhancement of science, technology and innovation cooperation between stakeholders from the European Union Member States and associated countries, and from Chile. CEST+I will focus on jointly tackling societal challenges, on promoting the creation of networks and joint research projects, and on the dissemination of the opportunities of cooperation between Chile and the EU. It will also establish synergies with other on-going projects and initiatives, in particular those addressing the regional aspects of EU-CELAC cooperation.
Chile is an important participant in the INCO-Net project ALCUENET - Latin America, Caribbean and European Union Network on Research and Innovation (2012-2017). The coordinator is the Argentine Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation. The project started on the 1st of December 2012, and the kick-off meeting was held on 18 April 2013 in Brussels. It runs for four and a half years. It has 19 partners from 16 countries. The European countries involved are: Austria, Spain, Finland, France, Portugal and Norway. The CELAC partners are from Chile, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama, Barbados, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. The objectives of the project are, however, not only linked to the partner countries, but also to the bi-regional cooperation between the whole of EU and the Latin-American and Caribbean region.