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Latin America and Caribbean


6 November 2015

2nd ERANet-LAC joint call will be launched on 1st December 2015

ERANet LAC logo

32 funding organizations from 26 member countries in the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC) joined forces to aim for the 2nd ERANet-LAC multilateral call for proposals. The objective of the joint call is to develop cooperative research and innovation activities in the thematic fields of Biodiversity/Climate, Bioeconomy, Energy, Health and Information- and Communication Technologies (ICT).

26 countries confirmed their interest in participating and their total commitments amount to more than 13 million euros.

Detailed information on the topics, the call text and the application guidelines will be published on 1 December 2015.

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1 October 2015

A long-term vision for EU-CELAC STI Cooperation – a Common Research Area

Robert Burmanjer and François Roudié in the International seminar on EU-CELAC Common Research Area

High level officials and EU ambassadors discussed the future of EU-CELAC STI Cooperation at an International seminar on EU-CELAC Common Research Area, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 28 September 2015. The seminar was hosted by the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MINCyT) and organized by the project ALCUE-NET, which is funded by the EU Framework Programme 7.

The event was opened by the Director for International Relations at MINCyT, Águeda Menvielle who recalled the milestones and achievements of the EU-CELAC research cooperation since the launch of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) in 2013. Ms. Menvielle also underlined the importance of the mandate given to the next Senior Officials Meeting of the JIRI in Brussels on 25 – 26 November to develop a strategic vision for an EU-CELAC Common Research Area. The Argentinian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Lino Barañao, was the key note speaker of the event. Minister Barañao highlighted particularly the key role of Research and Innovation at the heart of the EU-CELAC cooperation. On the side of the EU, the Chargé d’affaire at the EU delegation in Argentina, François Roudié, stressed the growing role of the EU as a global actor in building the EU CELAC STI Cooperation.

Robert Burmanjer, Head of Unit for North America, Latin America and Caribbean, DG Research and Innovation, illustrated the key priorities for moving towards an EU CELAC Common Research Area as agreed at the EU-CELAC Summit in June and re-confirmed by the CELAC STI Ministerial meeting at Quito, Ecuador on 15 September 2015. Mr. Burmanjer indicated that these three priorities include i) jointly address common challenges, ii) increase mobility of researchers and iii) access to research infrastructures. He also presented the EU experience in building the European Research Area and its founding principles as potential sources of inspiration in developing an EU CELAC Common Research Area.

With regards common challenges, Piero Venturi, EU Scientific Counselor for Research and Innovation in Brazil presented the outcome of the first years of H2020 and the opportunities the programme offers to CELAC countries.

A final session, moderated by Mina Stareva, policy officer for Latin America and Caribbean in DG RTD C2, discussed the challenges for CELAC in moving towards an EU CELAC Common Research Area, concluding on the benefits such area could have in terms of opening up national programmes, strengthening scientific cooperation and supporting regional integration.

This International Seminar was followed by a two-day meeting of EU and CELAC funding agencies of the ERA-NET LAC project, which is also funded by the EU Framework Programme 7. The objective of this meeting was to discuss a second joint call for small collaborative projects that will be co-funded by funding agencies participating into the ERA-NET LAC. This meeting was opened by Mr. Burmanjer recalling the political context and the importance of moving towards strategic commonly agreed priorities and the potential input the ERA-NET Lac project could have to the preparation of the next JIRI SOM in November. The event gathered 18 new funding agencies potential partners from both EU and CELAC interested in participating in the second joint call.

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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.