Latin America and the Caribbean
The 8th Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation
Senior officials of the EU and CELAC meet today on 30 October 2020 to discuss cooperation on priority research and innovation topics. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the EU have been working jointly on research and innovation collaboration since 2010, when the Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation was established to help advance the bi-regional dialogue.
A new chapter in EU-LAC cooperation
On 21-22 November the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean came together to strengthen the dialogue on innovation cooperation. In the framework of the EU-LAC Communication, the 'EU-LAC Innovation Cooperation Conference' brought together stakeholders, decision makers, funding agencies and innovation actors from both sides of the Atlantic, in an effort to outline our common path forward in building a truly common research area between the two regions.
The conference provided an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas on how to create the right framework conditions for innovation cooperation, taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 and by the future Horizon Europe.
The EU and LAC regions jointly represent more than sixty countries. We share important parts of our history and strong societal and economic links. Our future lies in a true partnership, mobilizing the tremendous potential of more than 1 billion citizens. Innovation cooperation will be one of the key areas that will help us face the future challenges together!
Science & Technology Cooperation with CELAC region
Cooperation in research and innovation with Latin-America has a long history, based on common cultural roots and shared interests.
During the seven years of the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7), from 2007 to 2013, 707 Latin-American and Caribbean partners were supported in various projects, mainly in the areas of Environment; Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology; ICT and Health. Over €100 million has been granted to 720 CELAC participants for these activities. In addition there have been over 250 participations of institutions from the region in completed or on-going Marie Curie Actions, including in the staff exchange programme IRSES.
Cooperation with these countries will continue and grow under the new Framework Programme of the EU, Horizon 2020, which is fully open to the world.
During FP7, we developed, in parallel, an increased cooperation at regional level, on topics of mutual interest, and in line with the new EU International Cooperation Strategy for Research and Innovation and the report on its implementation.
The EU-CELAC cooperation is in charge of the implementation of the EU-CELAC Action Plan, originally agreed on at the 2010 EU-LAC Summit in Madrid and expanded at the 2013 Santiago EU-CELAC Summit . The first item on the Action Plan addresses Science, Research, Innovation and Technology and includes the setting-up and implementation of a Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI) and the creation of an EU-CELAC Knowledge Area.
CELAC has a rotating presidency among its members for one year at a time. The three presidencies (past, current and future) work closely together as a ‘troika’. CELAC convenes Summits among its members, and about every second year an EU-CELAC Summit takes place.
The EU-CELAC Action Plan for 2013-2015 (updated and adapted at the 2013 Summit) has 8 key areas of activity, the first of which is Science, Research, innovation and technology:
- Science, research, innovation and technology
- Sustainable development; environment; climate change; biodiversity; energy
- Regional integration and interconnectivity to promote social inclusion and
- Education and employment to promote social inclusion and cohesion
- The world drug problem
- Investments and entrepreneurship for sustainable development.
DG RTD oversees the implementation of this first item on the Action Plan together with the country in the presidency of CELAC. Regular Senior Officials Meetings (SOMs) are convened to discuss the cooperation in the JIRI, alternating between Europe and the CELAC region. These meetings report back to the political SOMs which are organised and co-chaired by EEAS and take place more frequently.
Five thematic Working Groups have been set up under the JIRI to discuss and make suggestions for joint actions. A sixth Working Group on Instruments has also been put in place and its mandate was expanded at the last SOM to include researchers’ careers.
- Bioeconomy including food security, co-chaired by Argentina and France
- Renewable energies, co-chaired by Mexico and Spain
- Biodiversity and climate change, co-chaired by Colombia and France
- ICT for meeting societal challenges, co-chaired by Chile and France
- Health, co-chaired by Spain and Brazil
- Cross cutting WG on instruments and funding, co-chaired by Portugal and Mexico
The main achievements of the JIRI include the following:
- A consolidated Science and Technology bi-regional dialogue on all these issues through the working groups mentioned above, which are each co-chaired by one CELAC and one EU country and which identify concrete areas for thematic cooperation
- The launch of the ERANet-LAC project which started in 2013 and brings together 17 funding agencies from Europe and CELAC. Under this project two joint calls for research projects co-funded by these agencies (without further funding from the EC) are foreseen: the first was launched in 2014 with a pre-committed budget of €10 million allocated by 17 funding agencies. The second call will be launched in 2015
Latin America, Caribbean and European Union Network on Research and Innovation intends to establish an EU-LAC platform bringing together actors involved in R&I orientation, funding and implementation, as well as other relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector and the civil society, in an effort to:
- generate relevant information for the design and implementation of specific plans and projects including R&D activities and set the basis for the establishment of an enabling policy and institutional environment for R&I better focused on addressing societal challenges and, where appropriate, key enabling technologies of common interest
- to support the development of more strategic and result-oriented partnerships in the context of bi-regional policy cooperation frameworks
The Network of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean Countries on Joint Innovation and Research Activities will strengthen the bi-regional partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation by planning and implementing concrete joint activities and by creating a sustainable framework for future bi-regional joint activities.
EU-LAC Health (2011-2016)
"Defining a Roadmap for Cooperative Health research between the EU and Latin America-Caribbean countries: a Policy Oriented Approach". Intends to define a detailed roadmap to guide policy-makers and other stakeholders on future actions to support cooperative health research between European and Latin America and Caribbean countries.
DG Research and Innovation
Luis Samaniego Moffre
Senior Policy Officer
Unit RTD C2 – North America, Latin America and the Caribbean
Telephone: (+32) 229 52611
Luis Samaniego Moffre