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2-3 April 2014
EU-Africa Summit, Brussels

Photo from the summit
EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and AU Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology Martial De-Paul Ikounga

The 4th EU-Africa Summit brought together more than 60 EU and African Heads of State and Government, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the President of the African Union and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, to discuss the future of EU-Africa relations. The theme of the Summit was "Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace", with the objective of addressing common challenges and bringing concrete benefits to citizens in accordance with the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES).

The EU and African leaders recognise in the Summit’s Declaration that investment in research, science, technology and innovation is fundamental in creating socio-economic development (articles 30 and 48). As for the roadmap (2014-2017), the conclusions of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue that took place in November 2013 have a prominent place in it (articles 30-32, 58). This proves that both the EU and Africa have convergent views on the enabling role of STI in creating growth and employment and that it deserves a prominent place in the EU's development policy.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and AU Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology Martial De-Paul Ikounga met in the margins of the Summit, on 8 April. Among other issues the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation, Horizon 2020, the African Union’s new Strategy on Science, Technology and Innovation (STISA 2024) and the second phase of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) were discussed.

Visit the Africa page

 

31 March - 1 April 2014
EU-Africa Business Forum, Brussels

Photo from the forum
The co-chairs Lucy Muchoki, CEO of Pan African Agribusiness and Agroindustry Consortium, and Emily Alpert, Deputy-Director of Agriculture for Impact

At the EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF), STI was an important item of discussion at several of the round-tables. For example, the renewable energy (RE) round-table highlighted the need for a stable regulatory framework and governmental support; the difficulty with scaling up proof-of-concept projects and the need for innovative financing, education and the adaptation and development of technologies specifically for Africa.

On raw materials, a call was made for the transformation of African industry based on innovation and the sustainable use of natural resources to ensure inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The importance of geological knowledge and skills was highlighted as well as access to geo-scientific data that are understandable, easy to use and digital.

The EC organised a roundtable on 'innovation serving food and nutrition security in Europe and Africa'. It was opened by Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation and Patrik Kolar, Head of Unit Agri-food chains (DG RTD) and closed by David Radcliffe, Policy Officer Agricultural Research and Innovation systems (DG DEVCO). The co-chairs Lucy Muchoki, CEO of Pan African Agribusiness and Agroindustry Consortium, and Emily Alpert, Deputy-Director of Agriculture for Impact chaired an interactive debate that raised issues such as the challenge of scaling innovation; the potential of multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary platforms; the importance of a favourable policy and regulatory environment; the need to learn from failure and the need for innovative and flexible funding mechanisms that allow for risk taking.

Visit the Africa page

 

9 February 2014
Commission launches Horizon 2020 in South Mediterranean region: "Meeting EuroMed Common Challenges" Conference

Photo of Dr. Lipiatou
Dr. Elizabeth Lipiatou addressing the participants during the opening session

The European Commission organized a regional conference on Sunday 9 February 2014 to launch Horizon 2020 in the EuroMed region. The conference, "Meeting EuroMed Common Challenges", brought together around 500 policy makers, researchers, representatives from academia and industry and research institutes, technology transfer centers, incubators, and technology platforms from the Euromed region. Participants and speakers came from all over the Euromed region, including Egypt, Spain, Italy, UK, Germany, Greece, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan as well as representatives of the EC.

The opening session was addressed by Dr. Hazem Manosur, assistant Minister of Scientific research, and Dr. Elizabeth Lipiatou, Head of the Unit responsible for European Neighbourhood, Africa and Gulf countries at the Directorate General of Research and Innovation in the European Commission. The exhibition of success stories was opened by H.E. Prof. Ramzy George, Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research, and H.E. Ambassador James Moran, Head of European Union Delegation to Egypt.

Ambassador Moran said: "Horizon 2020 offers many opportunities for addressing EuroMed common societal challenges through cooperation in research and innovation. The programme will support scientists and researchers from courtiers across the two shores of the Mediterranean to work together. This is essential to social prosperity, political stability and economic sustainability, as well as the future prosperity of the region."

The conference succeeded in promoting Horizon 2020 and presenting its different components/programmes. Different parallel sessions at the conference initiated a dialogue and fostered knowledge sharing among stakeholders in different thematic areas of research and innovation. It also enabled policy makers, development organizations, research institutions and private sector to share their know-how, explore gaps and links between research and innovation, as well as develop an understanding of how research and innovation initiatives could create complementarities and synergies that allow leveraging potentials and addressing societal challenges in the region.

Proceedings of the conference will be posted on the conference website

Contact person:Dr. Heba Gaber, Delegation of the EU to Egypt

 

8 February 2014
Horizon 2020 Launch in Israel

Photo of DG Smits
DG Smits makes a point during the panel discussion

Horizon 2020 was officially launched in Israel on 3 February 2014 at the Open University in Ra'anana. The event, organised by ISERD, attracted over 400 participants from academia, government and the private sector.

The number of participants and the lively exchanges that took place during question time and in the corridors highlighted Israeli researchers' keen interest in Horizon 2020. Keynote speeches were given by EC Director General Robert-Jan Smits and Israel's Chief Scientist Avi Hasson. These were followed by presentations by John Bell, Director Bioeconomy and Jean-David Malo, Head of Unit SMEs, Financial- instruments and State Aid at DG Research and Innovation, and DG Enterprise's special advisor Khoen Liem.

The evening before the launch, a dinner was held at the Head of Delegation's residence which provided the opportunity to discuss Israeli research and innovation, and the ongoing and future cooperation with the EU, with guests who included government officials, academics, entrepreneurs, ERC laureates and Nobel Prize winner Ada Yonath. Robert-Jan Smits and John Bell also visited Israel's Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Centre, where they learned about the Ministry of Agriculture's involvement in applied agricultural research through close cooperation between farmers and researchers

For more information, please contact Alexandra Meir, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv.

 

Seminar 12-16 January 2014, Sakhnin
The Challenges of Water and Wastewater Treatment for Rural Areas

Photo from the event

Between 12 and 16 January 2014, over fifty Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians gathered for an intensive technical seminar on wastewater treatment which was organized by the Towns Association for Environmental Quality – Agan Beit Natufa (TAEQ) and the Migal Galilee Research Institute. The seminar was held in TAEQ’s prize winning Green Building, in Sakhnin -North Israel, which came first in the 2006 EU Med Enec competition for energy efficiency in the construction sector. The participants included water specialists, academics, students, public authority representatives, civil society organisations and water technology companies. The seminar combined lectures, site visits, roundtables, as well as an exhibition and demonstration of the latest commercial technological developments.

The EU hosted a session devoted to water related projects funded under various EU programmes - the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the Cross Border Cooperation (Mediterranean Sea Basin), EU Partnership for Peace and SWIM (Sustainable Water Integrated Management). The session was opened by Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, Head of the EU Delegation to Israel, and its aim was to enhance the synergies between projects funded by different EU Programmes and enhance their impact. Topics ranged from the treatment of olive mill wastewater through climate change and water security to the management of transboundary water basins. A presentation was also given of the EU’s new research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 with a particular emphasis on the water sector and international cooperation activities. The seminar could be seen as a small but significant example of 'science diplomacy' where participants shared knowledge to address common challenges in the complex and strategic Middle East region.

Contact persons:
Angela Liberatore, Deputy HoU Unit C3 European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf
Alexandra Meir, EU Delegation in Tel Aviv

 

12 December 2013
Horizon 2020 - Open to the World Launch Event

The Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will host an event for the international Diplomatic Corps accredited to the European Union to highlight the openness to the world of Horizon 2020, on the 12th of December, in Brussels.

International Cooperation will be an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020 integrates research and innovation and it is the largest multinational programme of its kind, fully open to the participation of international partners.

Following the speech of the Commissioner, three researchers will testify what are the benefits and opportunities offered by the EU Framework programmes to the world.

Read more on the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 here.

Video of launch event here.

 

 

Upcoming Events

International Research Update
issue 47, July 2014

  • Israeli Association to Horizon 2020 signed during President Barroso's visit to Israel
  • Focus on China:
    • Steering Committee meeting of the bilateral Euratom-China R&D
    • EU-China Joint S&T Steering Committee
    • EU-China Task Force meeting on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology

International Research Update (July 2014)  PDF icon

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