Building an EU-CELAC Common Research Area : a regional approach to enhance access to research infrastructures
Brussels, 20 September
EU – CELAC cooperation: Research Infrastructure Pillar Workshop: view of the room
The European Commission organised a workshop with CELAC Embassies and Heads of Delegations in Brussels to follow-up on the commitments made at the Senior Officials Meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI) on 14 March 2016, to implement the Common Research Area (CRA) Pillar on Research Infrastructures (RI).
The workshop aimed at raising awareness, understanding what cooperation at regional level on research infrastructures implies, showcasing the European experience in developing an European Roadmap within the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, and outlining possible steps forwards in the development of a EU –CELAC structured dialogue on research infrastructures.
Overall 21 countries from CELAC have been represented, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, who are already integrated in a number of RI projects.
The next steps in establishing a strategic alignment and dialogue on RI to support the implementation of the CRA should result in the identification of a national RI contact points from the respective national funding agencies and decision makers in CELAC countries, to create a dedicated Working Group on RI ahead of the next JIRI SOM in 2017.
The EU-CELAC Common Research Area discussed at the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum
Montevideo, 6-9 September
Roundtable of the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum ©AUCI
The new European Union’s Science Counsellor in Brazil, Mr. Alejandro Zurita, presented the vision and strategic pillars of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area at the I Latin American and Caribbean Open Science Forum, held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 6 to 9 September 2016. The discussion took place in a roundtable, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities to promote synergies between international development cooperation and cooperation in science, technology and innovation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Building on ongoing regional partnership, the development of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area was agreed as an opportunity to demonstrate with concrete actions what researchers, knowledge and technology can develop together.
Other participants at the Roundtable included Ernesto Fernandez Polcuch, Head of Section for Science Policy and Partnerships in the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO Paris, Liliana Borzacconi, representative of the National Academy of Uruguay and Luis Porto Sciences, Senior Advisor Strategy and Organizational Development of the Organisation of the American States.
- AUCI (es)
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.