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8 May 2015

Commissioner Moedas meets Minister Barañao

Commissioner Moedas and Minister Barañao

Commissioner Moedas met the Minister of Science and Technology of Argentina in Brussels on 8 May 2015. At the meeting, Commissioner Moedas and Minister Barañao reviewed ongoing cooperation and discussed how to further enhance future EU-Argentina cooperation in research and innovation in areas of common interest including marine research, bio-economy, renewable energies, re-naturing cities, and nanotechnologies. Commissioner Moedas congratulated the Minister on the signature of an implementing arrangement with the European Commission providing opportunities for Argentinian researchers to carry out research in Europe through the European Research Council (ERC) grant scheme.

During his stay in Brussels Minister Baraña also met the president of ERC, Mr. Bourguignon to discuss the implementation of this arrangement. Commissioner Moedas also welcomed the fact that Argentina recently joined the Global Research Collaboration for infectious Diseases Preparedness GLOPID-R. At the meeting, the active role of Argentina in the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation was also praised and the Commissioner expressed his wish that the EU-CELAC cooperation in science and technology could be soon enhanced in view of creating a common research area between the two regions

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17 March 2015

Stimulating Research and Innovation Cooperation with Latin America

Photo from the meeting Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at DG RTD and Lino Barañao, Argentinian Minister for Science and Technology signing a new cooperation agreement between the EU and Argentina.

Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate-General, is currently in Latin America to promote cooperation in research and innovation with Europe, notably through the EU's research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020.

On Friday 13 March, together with Minister for Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT) of the Republic of Argentina, Lino Barañao, she spoke at a conference in honour of the 10th anniversary of the Argentinean-European Union Liaison Office for Science, Technology and Innovation before signing an Implementing Arrangement launching a new initiative to encourage top Argentine scientists to come to Europe as members of research teams lead by European Research Council (ERC) grant holders. Finally, she co-chaired the 8th Steering Committee of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, together with Ms Agueda Menvielle, National Director of International Relations at MINCYT. The agenda included discussion on cooperation in the priority areas of common interest, including Health, Bioeconomy, Renewable Energy, Marine Research and Transport.

Ms Russo then travelled to Uruguay, where together with Ambassador Juan Fernández Trigo, Head of the EU Delegation to Uruguay, she met Fernando Filgueira, the Undersecretary for Education and Culture and Gabriel Aintablian, the Director of Innovation, Science and Technology for Development at the the Ministry of Education and Culture.

At present, Ms Russo is in Brazil, which is also celebrating 10 years of the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation with the European Union. On March 17 she will speak at the XXII EU-Brazil Forum 'Brazil-European Union- World Politics Partners'. On March 18, Ms. Russo and the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Brazil, Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias, will have meetings with representatives of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) also of the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP). The event will include the signing a letter of intent with FAPESP, aiming to stimulate European and Brazilian researchers' participation in each other's' research programmes. On March 19, the 7th EU-Brazil Joint Steering Committee Meeting will take place in Brasilia to discuss the scientific cooperation in priority areas as food security and sustainable agriculture, marine research, renewable energies, nanotechnology, fusion energy and information and communication technology (TICs). Innovation will also be highlighted, with the attendance by funding institutions, technology parks and private sector representatives.

In addition to bilateral cooperation between Europe and each of these countries in research and innovation, there is also close regional cooperation stimulated by the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation.


Policy background

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.

The EU has formal Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements with four countries of the region: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

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 PDF icon. 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 PDF icon (updated and adapted at the 2013 Summit) has 8 key areas of activity, the first of which is Science, Research, innovation and technology:

  1. Science, research, innovation and technology
  2. Sustainable development; environment; climate change; biodiversity; energy
  3. Regional integration and interconnectivity to promote social inclusion and
  4. cohesion
  5. Migration
  6. Education and employment to promote social inclusion and cohesion
  7. The world drug problem
  8. Gender
  9. 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.

  1. Bioeconomy including food security, co-chaired by Argentina and France
  2. Renewable energies, co-chaired by Mexico and Spain
  3. Biodiversity and climate change, co-chaired by Colombia and France
  4. ICT for meeting societal challenges, co-chaired by Chile and France
  5. Health, co-chaired by Spain and Brazil
  6. 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



ALCUENET (2012-2017)

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:

  1. 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
  2. to support the development of more strategic and result-oriented partnerships in the context of bi-regional policy cooperation frameworks


ERANet-LAC (2013-2017)

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.