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Latin America and Caribbean


20 June 2016

The EU Horizon 2020 Liaison Office in Peru : a success story of bilateral cooperation

Photo from the event
Organisers of the Horizon 2020 event in Arequipa

The Peruvian National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation – CONCYTEC has organised a research seminar on Horizon 2020 in the Catholic University of Santa Maria in Arequipa targeting a large audience of more than 150 researchers , universities, entrepreneurs , project managers and representatives of institutions interested in participating in Horizon 2020 to promote global partnership and cooperation. The seminar also provided opportunities for remote connection, and was followed by more practical workshops with the objective to identify the local strengths of the research community, including private sector in the Southern region of the country in line with Horizon 2020 societal challenges and opportunities.

The event is part of a series of regional and international events which CONCYTEC has organised in the past two years and half following the visit of Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation to Peru in 2014 and the setting-up in place of an EU Liaison Office within CONCYTEC. The main objectives of the EU Liaison Office are to disseminate information on Horizon 2020 in a coordinated way and provide support to the Peruvian research community on their participation in Horizon 2020. Further to that, the EU Liaison Office has developed a solid network of researchers, key stakeholders and national contact points with the objective to promote the Peruvian areas of excellence in Research and Innovation, as well as to develop strategies, joint activities and proposals with other Liaison Offices from Latin America and Europe.

The commitment of CONCYTEC towards bilateral cooperation with the EU, as well as intra-regional within CELAC has been translated into concrete and tangible results, namely the organisation of 3 regional Horizon 2020 seminars benefiting other CELAC countries from CONCYTEC’s knowledge, network and experience and more than 15 national workshops providing targeted trainings on Horizon 2020 to Peruvian research community.

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9 June 2016

Strengthening NCPs capacity in Latin America

Photo from the Workshop
Workshop on Horizon 2020 and NCP, Colombia - © COLCIENCIAS

In the context of the building of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area, which was officially launched in March 2016 at the fifth Senior Officials Meeting of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation, Piero Venturi, the EU’s Research and Innovation Counsellor in Brazil, attended an extensive workshop on Horizon 2020 and National Contact Points (NCPs) Capacity building. The event was hosted by the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia (COLCIENCIAS), with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay (MEC), The Deutsches Zentrum Fuer Luft of Germany (DLR) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina (MINCyT). The event gathered more than 140 Colombian researchers from public and private universities, as well as national entrepreneurs and innovators, and it was regionally disseminated via webstreaming reaching more than 1100 virtual participants.

At the occasion of the event, COLCIENCIAS presented its Horizon 2020 strategy and its new mobility funding programme paving the way for higher participation of Colombia in Horizon 2020.

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More News about the Caribbean and Latin America


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.



Framework documents

Background documents