On the occasion of the closure of the 2012 EU-Egypt Year of Science and Innovation, HE Ambassador, Mr. James Moran, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Egypt and HE Minister Dr. Nadia Zakhary, the Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research, with Research and Innovation community in Egypt, together with European Commission representatives of the International Cooperation Directorate of the DG Research and Innovation held a conference and a reception to celebrate the event, in cooperation with EU Member States. The successful events witnessed large participation of research centres, universities, scientific communities and enterprises. TV and media covered the events broadcasting them also on internet and social media channels in addition to an international press conference.
The two-day event included the following activities:
The second day, 19th April, celebrated the final Famelab National Competition
The competition was introduced to Egypt in 2009 in support of the government's efforts to advance science and to build a culture that understands and supports the positive role science plays in the economic and social well-being. In the competition contestants are expected to deliver an entertaining and original three-minute talk about any scientific topic through an approachable manner. The event was part of EU-Egypt Year of Science & Innovation. HE Ambassador James Moran delivered a speech on EU-Egypt cooperation in various fields, and stressing the support of EU for young scientists. The competition is one of the best science outreach efforts in Egypt â and probably in the Arab world. Famous actors, scientists and entrepreneurs took part to the event and the audience was full of young people eager to listen to science. The show was broadcasted on TV and internet.
Such event supports the outreach efforts to generate interest in science among the public and break down the barriers that the normal person has in his mind towards science. Dr. Hesham Kandil, Egypt's Prime Minister has met the Famelab winners at his office addressing them as "the core of the nation's progress".
A high-level conference on 'Promoting Africa-EU Research Infrastructure Partnerships' will take place on 7-8 March 2013 at the Thon EU Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will present the outcomes of the PAERIP (Promoting African European Research Infrastructures Partnerships) project, funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Over the past two years PAERIP undertook an extensive analysis of Africa-EU research infrastructure partnerships, including best practices which could be identified from current cooperation and the formulation of recommendations to enhance collaboration. In this context PAERIP considered cooperation activities such as how to enhance transnational access to research infrastructures for African and European researchers, and the promotion of networks integrating African and European research infrastructures.
The conference is taking place at a crucial time for the development of new cooperation instruments for Africa-EU cooperation including for collaboration in science, technology and innovation. These instruments include, for example, the new EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the EU Development Cooperation Instrument and the European Development Fund. Within this context, one of the highlights of the conference will be the presentation of PAERIP's recommendations on how research infrastructure partnerships could best be promoted as part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
The programme of the conference will include the following sessions:
- A high-level opening session with the participation of senior representatives from the European Commission and the African Union Commission, with South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Derek Hanekom, as keynote speaker.
- Presentations of the PAERIP analysis and recommendations on:
The closing event of the 'ASEAN-EU Year of Science 2012' took take place on Wednesday 12 December 2012 in Brussels. The event, attended by over 140 participants, was organised with the support of the INCO-NET project 'SEA-EU-NET'. The overall objective of the event was to take stock of the achievements of the 'Year' and to discuss the next steps in the inter-regional dialogue on research and innovation cooperation. A large delegation of the ASEAN Committee of Science and Technology (ASEAN COST) came to Brussels on this occasion. ASEAN COST Members are generally the highest ranking administrative officer in charge of international cooperation in science and technology in the respective ASEAN Member Countries.
The event was made up of three sessions:
More information on the ASEAN website
On 27 November 2012, the new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was presented to and discussed with representatives from the Brussels based diplomatic community. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn in her speech presented the strategy, which was adopted on 14 September 2012, and stressed the fact that the Union's funding programmes for research and innovation would continue to be open to participation from researchers from across the world, while at the same time targeted activities with key partners would be developed to generate sufficient scale and scope. Her speech was followed by a presentation of Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Executive Director International Networks and Strategy of VINNOVA (Sweden). Ms Schwaag Serger was the chairperson of an expert group set up by the European Commission to advise on international cooperation and she presented the main recommendations made by the expert group, which subsequently fed into the preparation of the new strategy. An open discussion followed from which broad support for the new strategy emerged and a continued willingness to cooperate with the European Union.