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30 October 2015

12th EU-China Joint Steering Committee in Beijing

The 12th EU-China Joint Steering Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation took place in Beijing on 30 October 2015 under the co-chairmanship of the European Commission Director General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits and the Chinese Vice Minister for Science and Technology Cao Jianlin. The two sides reviewed past cooperation and discussed priority areas of mutual interest such as food, agriculture and biotechnology, sustainable urbanisation, environment and climate change, nuclear energy and renewable energy, SME cooperation, research infrastructures and exchange of young scientists. Substantial progress was made on the new EU-China Co-Funding Mechanism (CFM) for which Implementation Guidelines were agreed, and on reciprocal access to R&D funding programmes.

As of 2016, MOST will allocate annually to the CFM up to 200 million RMB - or 28 million euro - and provide competitive funding to China-based entities participating in joint projects with European partners under Horizon 2020. The CFM will be primarily used for Horizon 2020 topics targeting China (see China country page PDF icon) but will also be open to virtually all areas of Horizon 2020.

On 29 June DG Smits co-chaired with MOST the 4th Euratom-China Joint Steering Committee on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The meeting endorsed the 'Three-Year Report 2011-2014' on the effectiveness of the RD-PUNE cooperation and discussed new bilateral fusion collaborative activities.

At the 2015 Research and Innovation Tour of China Beijing Event on 30 October, together with representatives from the EU Member States, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Beijing Municipal S&T Commission, the Director General addressed about 300 representatives of the European and Chinese research and innovation communities in China emphasising the new opportunities offered for EU-China STI cooperation by the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes 2016/2017.

13 November 2015

EU – Mexico enhanced cooperation in Research and Innovation

Photo from the meeting Enrique Cabrero ,Conacyt President, on the left, and Carlos Moedas sign the implementing arrangement at Conacyt headquarters

The momentum and visibility of EU-Mexico research cooperation was increased by Commissioner Moedas' first visit to Mexico.

His visit started with a very positive and constructive meeting with Dr Cabrero Mendoza, Director General of the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) that consolidated and further enhanced this fruitful cooperation. At Conacyt headquarters, Commissioner Moedas signed an Implementing Arrangement between the European Research Council (ERC) and CONACYT to allow Mexico's most promising young researchers to come to Europe and temporarily join ERC-led research teams. At the signing ceremony were rectors of major Mexican universities participating in the FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes.

A meeting with Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexican Minister of Energy, provided the opportunity to discuss future S&T cooperation opportunities between the EU and Mexico in renewable energies. The Commissioner set out the progress on renewables in Europe and the political goals that are pursued in the context of the Energy Union. The coordinated geothermal call, which is underway, was mentioned as well as possible further cooperation opportunities in renewables, important for both sides in the context of COP21. The first coordinated call between the EU and Mexico on geothermal energy was published in October as part of the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2016-2017, with a total budget of €20 million with each side contributing an equal amount. The EU-Mexico coordinated call on geothermal energy is expected to bring important benefits which range from accelerated technology development and increased knowledge and expertise to enhanced risk reduction.

During the first day of the Commissioner's mission he also intervened at the final day of the 4th Annual Research Network Meeting of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). He supported global collaboration against Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and implementation research in order to ensure fast uptake and scale-up of healthcare innovations adapted to different settings, and ensure that knowledge generated by research is actually used in real life. A working lunch with the President of ProMexico (confederation of industries) provided the opportunity to discuss and promote open innovation and Mexican SME participation in European R&I Programmes.

On the second day of his visit (13/11/2015), Commissioner Moedas attended the GEO (Group on Earth Observation) 2015 Mexico City Ministerial Summit where he underlined the role of the EU in helping global earth observation systems reach maturity, namely through the Horizon 2020 and Copernicus programmes. The Commissioner co-chaired the opening session of GEO accompanied by the President of INEGI, Dr Eduardo Sojo. During the meeting Commissioner Moedas stated that "This meeting is a sign of our commitment to work together to tackle global challenges. We cannot afford to be the generation who failed in efforts to address these challenges".

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11 November 2015

Initiative launched to encourage South African top researchers to join ERC teams in Europe

A new initiative has been launched to provide South African early-mid career researchers with research opportunities in Europe. The agreement has been signed by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and the South African Minister for Science and Technology Naledi Pandor.

The ERC/DST initiative - the sixth in a string of similar agreements with non-European counterparts - is open to active holders of South African National Research Foundation (NRF) grants. They can undertake research visits (e.g. for joint experiments), becoming part of teams led by ERC grant holders in Europe.

This contract takes the form of an 'Implementing Arrangement' under the umbrella of the Science & Technology Agreement between the EU and the Republic of South Africa. South African researchers who will come to Europe on scientific visits will continue to receive remuneration from the National Research Foundation (NRF).

The objective of the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) is to promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all the people.

Set up by the European Union in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run five-year-projects based in Europe. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. To date, the ERC has funded some 5,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers. On average, ERC grantees employ around six team members during their ERC project. An estimate shows that some 18% of these team members are nationals from countries outside Europe. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council, and, since January 2014, the ERC President is Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion and is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas is responsible.

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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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15 October 2015

Strengthening cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan

Photo from the meeting
Cristina Russo meets with Mr Shkolnik

Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of DG RTD paid her first visit to Astana on 1-2 October 2015. Mrs Russo had a number of bilateral meetings with the high-level officials of Kazakhstan, in particular, with Minister for Investment and Development Mr Asset Issekeshev, Minister of Energy Mr Vladimir Shkolnik, First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Rapil Zhoshybayev and Vice-Minister of Education and Science Mr Yessengazy Imangaliyev.

At the meeting with Minister for Investment and Development Mr Asset Issekeshev, Mrs Russo underlined: “The EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), initialled on 20 January 2015, will greatly facilitate stronger bilateral political, economic and strategic relations. We look forward in using this new agreement to enhance our cooperation, including in the areas of research and innovation. In this regard, we encourage Kazakhstan's active participation in the "Horizon 2020" programme, the EU main tool in promoting closer cooperation in the field of research, innovation and energy.”

The visit offered the opportunity to put emphasis upon to the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, particularly on the chapters dedicated to the cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan in the field of research and innovation. Kazakhstani officials underlined the importance attached to the new EPCA in the view of Kazakhstan's plans on strengthening the national economy. Parties also discussed topics related to the potential participation of Kazakhstan in the SESAME infrastructure.

To exchange views on cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan, Mrs Russo met with Minister of Energy Mr Vladimir Shkolnik. "The main purpose of my visit is to express the importance given by the EU to the enhanced partnership and cooperation and underline our fruitful relations with Kazakhstan, and the role of research and innovation collaboration, in particular in the field of Energy, in building constructive relations in the future,"- said Cristina Russo. There is also the growing importance of Kazakhstan as a major energy supplier for the EU. Kazakhstan supplies around 5-6% of the EU oil demand and meets more than 21% of the EU uranium demand.

In the framework of the visit, the 2nd Policy Stakeholders Conference of IncoNet CA "EU – Central Asia Cooperation in Addressing Energy Research and Innovation" and the workshop "The European Union – Kazakhstan: innovation through collaboration" were organised. Parties agreed to further develop substantive cooperation within the framework of "Horizon 2020".

EU cooperation with Kazakhstan's researchers was established more than 20 years ago. Only in the framework of the previous programme - FP7, 28 scientists took part in the joint projects. The INCONET CA and NCP promote collaboration with Kazakhstan. The project specifically looks at opportunities for collaboration in the areas of Climate Change, energy and Health. The European Union committed to continue its support to the ISTC, which recently moved to Astana. The ISTC is an international organisation with enlarged geographical scope dealing with projects on migration of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Risks. The EU and Kazakhstan have two EUROATOM agreements on cooperation in the area of "nuclear safety" and "controlled nuclear fusion".

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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17 September 2015

One more step towards an EU-CELAC common research area

From left to right: Domenica Bumma, Cristina Russo and Mr. Piero Venturi in Quito

Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation participated in the meeting of Science and Technology Ministers and High Level Officials of CELAC in Quito on 14 and 15 September. The visit to Ecuador took place during the Ecuadorian presidency of CELAC, at the invitation of Mr. Ramirez, Secretary of State for Education, Science and Technology, to ensure a follow-up discussion with CELAC STI Ministers on the June 2015 EU-CELAC Summit decision to move towards a Common Research Area (CRA). At the Ministerial meeting Ms. Russo presented the concept of an EU-CELAC CRA and discussed with them the next steps towards achieving this objective.

In addition to this meeting, the creation of an EU-CELAC Common Research Area was discussed also with the Minister of Development Cooperation, Ms. Rosero, the Vice-Minister of Human Talent, Mr. Rubén Leòn and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Silvia Espindola.

CELAC STI Ministers and Senior Officials, as well as the other institutions, received very well the idea of an EU-CELAC CRA presented based on the mandate received by Commissioner Moedas. They welcomed the proposal that the move towards the CRA focuses on 3 main elements, namely facing global challenges together by means of increased thematic cooperation through higher participation into Horizon 2020; access to research infrastructures, including the submarine cable linking Latin America and Europe and mobility of researchers. The Ministerial meeting also mandated the next Senior Official Meeting of the CELAC Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) on 25 and 26 November in Brussels, to develop a concrete action plan for moving forwards towards a CRA based on these three elements. Minister Ramirez was invited to co-chair the next JIRI SOM in Brussels together with Ms. Russo. They fully converged on the importance of giving a more strategic focus to the JIRI SOM meeting of November by involving also scientists in the priority areas of the JIRI working groups.

The visit was also an important occasion to promote Horizon 2020 with the Ecuadorian research community through a workshop organised by SENSCYT to which over 200 researchers participated in person and with web stream connection to other key universities and research centres in the country. During the visit future cooperation through increased participation of Ecuador in H2020 was discussed with particular focus on areas of common interest such as environment, biodiversity and bioeconomy, volcanology, renewable energies and others.

During the visit Ms. Russo was accompanied by Domenica Bumma, policy officer for Brazil and CELAC and by Mr. Piero Venturi, science counsellor for Brazil and Latin America.

Under the FP7 from 2007 to 2014, there were 747 participations of research entities from CELAC receiving over 100 million Euro of EU support. Over the same period, Marie-Curie awarded 834 fellowships to researchers of CELAC, ERC signed 20 grants and over 5000 CELAC researchers took part in the staff exchange programmes IRSES. During FP7, Ecuador participated in 15 projects.

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7 September 2015

EU and China launch new Co-Funding Mechanism for research and innovation

Handshake between Wan Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology , on the right and Carlos Moedas

Today's high level "Joint Conference in Promoting Excellence through Enhanced EU-China Researcher's Mobility and Cooperation" promoted a new Co-funding mechanism for research and innovation. The conference was attended by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Mr. Carlos Moedas who is visiting China accompanied by Mr. Jean Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council, and Ms. Nuria Sebastian Galles, Vice President of the European Research Council.

The co-funding mechanism is established by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Chinese side and the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation on the EU side with funding resources on each side. To implement the co-funding mechanism (CFM) highlighted in the Joint Statement of the 17th EU-China Summit , building on Horizon 2020 on the EU side and relevant research and innovation programmes on the Chinese side, during the period from 2016 to 2020, the European Commission expects to continue spending over 100 million Euros per year for the benefit of Europe-based entities in joint projects under H2020 with Chinese participants. China will match corresponding resources and expects to spend 200 million RMB per year for the benefit of Chinese based entities that will participate in joint projects with European ones under Horizon 2020.

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29 July 2015

Success stories of EU-Africa cooperation in science, technology & innovation

"If you want to go quickly, go alone; If you want to go far, go together"

Publication cover

Over the years, EU-Africa cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) become one of our main success stories. Our long term Partnership, patiently built, is now maturing and producing concrete results.

The projects presented in this publication offer just a few concrete examples – 24 out of 590- of collaborative research platforms and networks in which African scientists, from the North to the South of the continent, cooperated with Europeans. They also show the added value of cooperation in STI as each one of these 24 projects made its own unique and important contribution to the daily lives of Europeans and Africans.

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29 June 2015

EU and China step up cooperation in research and innovation

Commissioner Carlos Moeadas
Mr. Wan Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology and Mr. Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Wan Gang, agreed to step up EU-China cooperation in the field of research and innovation at the 2nd EU-China Innovation Co-operation Dialogue that took place on 29 June in Brussels back-to-back with the 17th EU-China Summit.

Both sides agreed to work towards reciprocal access to their respective research and innovation funding programmes and decided to set up a new co-funding mechanism based on Horizon 2020 on the EU side and relevant research and innovation funding programmes on the Chinese side to support joint research and innovation projects. They will also continue the bold implementation of the flagship initiative on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology by supporting joint projects in the areas of plant breeding, food safety, animal health, soil and water resources management, and urban agriculture, and jointly promote research and innovation cooperation on Sustainable Urbanisation.

EU and China also agreed to stimulate collaboration on frontier research through the signature at the of an implementing arrangement between the European Research Council and the Natural Science Foundation of China and to reinforce the long standing cooperation between the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, by signing a new collaborative research arrangement on remote sensing. Both agreements were signed at the EU-China Summit.

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24 June 2015

EU-India Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Days

15-16 October 2015 - Rome, Italy

STI Cooperation days 2015

The 6th edition of the EU-India STI cooperation days will focus on water for health, in order to maximize future scientific and business collaboration in this field. Market opportunities in Europe and India for entrepreneurs will be explored and innovative technologies will be showcased. The event will also support the linking of existing bilateral and multilateral projects on water research. The event is jointly organized by the INDIGO POLICY and INNO INDIGO projects and supported by European Commission.

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19 June 2015

Advancing EU-Cabo Verde cooperation in Research and Innovation

The Commissioner with the Minister Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the Minister of Cabo Verde for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr. António Leão de Aguiar Correia e Silva

On the 18th June 2015 Commissioner Carlos Moedas, accompanied by the Advisor Maria da Graca Carvalho and the Director of International Cooperation Cristina Russo met with the Minister of Cabo Verde for Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr. António Leão de Aguiar Correia e Silva and his delegation.

Together, they exchanged on measures and support to increase EU-CV cooperation through the opportunities available under Horizon 2020 highlighting common areas of interest for mutual benefit. Cabo Verde is an African success story with stable democracy, good governance, respect of human rights and shares European values and cultural tradition. In addition to that, Cabo Verde is the only country within the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States holding a Special Partnership with the EU: a framework of mutual interests with an important political dimension that goes beyond the traditional donor-recipient relationship scheme. In this context, the EU-CV meeting explored ways on how to further progress the Special Partnership with Cabo Verde in the areas of science, research, innovation and education.

A dedicated technical meeting, led by Cristina Russo, took place in the afternoon and identified specific support measures such as trainings, knowledge dissemination and raising awareness initiatives, with the aim to better support, in the next months, universities and research centres capacities in Cabo Verde, in their international cooperation activities.

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15 June 2015

5th EU-Korea Joint S&T Cooperation Committee

Photo from the meeting EC Director-General Robert-Jan Smits and Korean Vice-Minister Sukjoon Lee

The EU and the Republic of Korea held the 5th Joint S&T Cooperation Committee in Seoul on 15 June 2015. The meeting, chaired by EC Director-General Robert-Jan Smits and Korean Vice-Minister Sukjoon Lee, was a further testimony of the breadth and dynamism of the EU-Korea partnership where successful cooperation on political, economic, security and science & technology affairs reflects the EU's and Korea's increasing international engagement and shows that they face similar challenges and share many of the same values and concerns.

At the meeting both sides emphasised the importance of continuing to improve the framework conditions for EU and Korean scientists and innovators to work together. They agreed to early exchanges of programme information to enable more efficient provision of matching funds and to allow for monitoring of cooperation intensity. Participants also agreed to continue support to joint events and to the efforts of multipliers to facilitate access to information and partnering of R&I stakeholders.

The substantial progress of current Korea-EU R&I cooperation was appreciated from both sides that also emphasised the need to deepen, scale up and open cooperation in selected thematic areas of mutual benefit. These areas include a joint call on 5G-next generation communication networks, Internet of Things and cloud services, a twinning call on CO2 capture technologies, and cooperation through multilateral initiatives on nano-safety and on infectious disease preparedness. Potentially new common priority topics include nanoelectronics, materials modelling, innovative medicine, medical devices, and satellite navigation.

The Implementing Arrangement for Korean researchers to join the teams of ERC Principal Investigators is progressing well with two calls launched already, and researchers' mobility through Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions is set to increase through R&I Staff Exchanges and Innovative Training Networks.

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10 June 2015

The Journey towards a Common Research Areas for the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean

Commissioner Moedas

Speaking at the EU-CELAC Academic Summit on 8 June in Brussels, Commissioner Moedas illustrated his vision for an EU-CELAC Common Research Areas. Addressing researchers and scholars from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Commissioner Moedas welcomed the strong ties that already exist between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean in the field of science, technology and innovation. He underlined the affinities between the two regions and underscored that cooperation is research and innovation is one of the cornerstones of the EU-CELAC relations. He further added that science diplomacy and research cooperation are a core element of the EU Strategy to stand as a strong global actor and that Latin America and Europe can benefit even more from increasing their cooperation science, technology and innovation. The Framework Programme 7 for research and innovation made possible to increase EU-CELAC cooperation by funding more 750 participations of Latin American and Caribbean researchers in collaborative projects with European partners for a total €100 million. This is an excellent basis for building a Common Research Area between the two regions based on knowledge sharing and stronger research cooperation in specific areas of common interest such as renewable energies, climate services, bio-economy, marine research, ICT and health. Horizon 2020, as the largest multilateral research programme provides a key tool for achieving this objective as it is fully open to the world.

The Second EU-CELAC Academic Summit of 8 & 9 June takes in Brussels place before the main EU-CELAC Summit of 10-11 June. The main theme of the Summit is "Towards a Euro-Latin American Caribbean common space for higher education, science, technology and innovation".

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1 June 2015

Towards a new strategic partnership in R&I between the EC and Japan

Photo from the meeting Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, on the right, Donald Tusk, in the centre and Jean-Claude Juncker, on the left, at the 23th EU-Japan Summit

At the 23rd EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo, the EU and Japan agreed to deepen their cooperation on Research and Innovation (R&I), based on a joint vision.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Europe and Japan must tackle many of the same challenges such as energy security, ageing populations or access to critical materials. So it's only natural that we also work together closely to find solutions to these challenges. The joint vision endorsed today will take our cooperation to the next level."

The agreement will build on the strong research ties in areas like ICT and aeronautics and strengthen collaborations in health and medical research, environment, energy and physics. The partners will also set up a joint funding mechanism that will make it easier to finance common R&I projects and collaborate more closely on policy aspects, like Open Science. In addition, an agreement to stimulate scientific exchanges has also been signed between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the European Research Council (ERC).

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29 May 2015

European Development Day

3-4 June, Brussels – Tour & Taxis

Feeding the planet together

Each year, the forum attracts more than 5000 participants from over 140 countries, representing 1200 organisations from within the diverse development community. The forum fosters a true spirit of partnership with all interested parties.

This year, participants will address issues such as the conditions for creating sustainable growth, the promotion of universal and fundamental rights, or how greater cooperation among all actors can help to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.

Among others, 4 Research projects will be presented at the following workshops:

  • 3 June 2015
    IDEA - Combating poverty related and neglected infectious diseases
    Nopoor - Research for change: New knowledge for poverty eradication
  • 4 June 2015
    CLARA - A plan for safer water supplies and sanitation in Africa
    FOODSECURE - The future of global food and nutrition security

The focus for EDD15 echoes the motto of the European Year for Development - ‘Our world, our dignity, our future’. This year’s programme will be structured around 4 themes and 12 topics.

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Website (with Registration)

18 May 2015

3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation


Photo from the meeting Participants to the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology

The 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation was held in Brussels on 18 May 2015. The meeting was co-chaired by Director-General Robert-Jan Smits, DG Research and Innovation, and Ambassador Makoto Katsura, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. The Japanese delegation was composed of 20 persons from the Cabinet, ministries and agencies involved in Research and Innovation.

The meeting assessed progress achieved and adopted a joint statement on the new EU-Japan strategic partnership in Research and Innovation, which is based on the deepening of strategic cooperation by frequent consultation at multiple levels; frameworks that facilitate collaboration (the establishment of mechanisms for the joint funding of research and innovation projects and measures to enhance mobility of researchers such as the soon to be signed ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement); thematic approach for promoting activities in key strategic areas (ICT, Aeronautics and Materials including Critical Raw Materials - and a mutual interest to initiate cooperation in areas such as health, energy, environment and high-energy physics); close consultation and possible collaboration on STI policies such as Open Science; and the important role of support activities and public engagement.

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12 May 2015

6th INCO Conference - Joint Innovation, Common Prosperity

Beijing, China, 17-19 June

6th INCO onference logo

This year’s event is dedicated to the underpinning role of innovation in boosting global growth and global efforts on innovation in achieving this end. Discussions will address critical issues such as the potential of global growth held by innovation in order to acquire insight for future coordinated actions. Invited speakers from worldwide organizations will share their experiences, best practices and obstacles in innovation cooperation.

The annual INCO Conference series targets primarily International Cooperation (INCO) Experts from around the world and National Contact Points (NCPs), providing an excellent forum for a plethora of activities including the dissemination of information on the Framework programmes, training activities for Third Countries NCPs, presentations on specific international cooperation projects and presentations on the research landscape in specific countries.

The conference will also host the annual meeting of the national INCO experts as well as a special training session on international research collaboration under Horizon 2020.

The conference seeks to:

  • set the framework for international cooperation in H2020
  • investigate into the role of innovation in unlocking growth
  • examine experiences of international innovation partnerships
  • underline best practices
  • provide insight to the future of interconnected research

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12 May 2015

Kick off meeting of Rinea

Bonn, 28-30 April 2015

Photo from the meeting Rinea consortium photo group

The Horizon 2020 funded RINEA project was kicked-off in Bonn on 28-30 April. RINEA will support the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation. The project is also expected to take up some specific activities as put forward in the draft roadmap towards the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. The project will work in close cooperation with other projects of the HLPD such as CAAST-Net Plus, ProIntensAfrica and a potential follow-up to ERAfrica.

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11 May 2015

EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD)

Brussels, 27 April 2015

EU-Africa cooperation logo

The EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Expert Working Group (EWG) presented its final input to the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau and representatives of DG Research and Innovation, DG Agriculture and Rural Development and DG International Cooperation and Development in Brussels on 27 April. The EWG that was made up of 5 experts from Africa and 5 experts from Europe has been working since April 2014 on a scientific input to a roadmap towards the jointly funded EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership. The work included an external consultation exercise. The HLPD Bureau will now develop a final road map in view of the senior officials meeting scheduled in March 2016.

8 May 2015

Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES)

Brussels, 21-22 April 2015

Photo from the meeting African Union Commissioner Ikounga and EU Commissioner Moedas

The Commissions of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) met in Brussels on to advance the Partnership embodied by the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) launched in 2007. Many areas were addressed including research and innovation.

In the margins of this meeting, EU Commissioner Moedas for research, science and innovation met bilaterally with AU Commissioner Ikounga for Human Resources Science and Technology, AU Commissioner Tumusiime for Rural Economy and Agriculture, AU Commissioner Sidiki Kaloko for Social Affairs (including health) and AU Commissioner Abdullahi for Political Affairs. The progress of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on science, technology and innovation (STI) in developing a jointly funded EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA) was welcomed, with an agreement to mobilise adequate resources for implementation, including from member states. Also recognised was the need for better preparedness for infectious diseases through research and surveillance, such as through the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID), the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the emerging African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC).

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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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7 May 2015

Horizon 2020 Training in Ghana

28-29 May 2015, Accra


CAAST-Net Plus has partnered with the INCONTACT project to offer a two-day Horizon 2020 training workshop to researchers and innovators from west and central Africa.

The event will take place on 28 and 29 May 2015 in Ghana’s capital Accra.

Horizon 2020 is open to eligible participants from outside of the EU, including from Africa, in topical areas of mutual interest.

The overall objective of the workshop is to increase the awareness of Horizon 2020 and its opportunities, and to build the capacity of National Contact Points (NCPs) for improved participation in Horizon 2020 by African research scientists.

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6 May 2015

The Atlantic – Our Shared Resource. Making the Vision Reality

Cover of the Programme

The conference took place on 16-17 April 2015 at Egmont Palace Brussels. The objective of the event was to launch the ‘Galway Statement follow-up projects' funded through the first Horizon 2020 Blue Growth Calls - the main EU financial instrument to make the Galway Statement commitments a reality. It brought together project coordinators and partners from European Atlantic coastal States and other European countries, our partners from the US and Canada, and also representatives from Brazil and South Africa, aiming to extend the cooperation towards the Southern Atlantic.

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21 April 2015

5 India-Europe collaborative projects have been selected under INNO INDIGO first joint call on “Clean Water and Health”

Inno Indigo Policy logo

INNO INDIGO first joint call "Clean Water and Health" gathered contributions from national and regional funding agencies from 5 different countries: Belgium, Estonia, Germany, India and Portugal.

Following a scientific evaluation process, 5 projects have been selected, involving 20 research teams/partners from India and different EU Member States.

With a total budget of approximately € 2,600,000, the projects are expected to start in October 2015 and to run for a period of 3 years. Follow the activities of the Projects.

The next INNO INDIGO call has already opened. The new call intends to fund research and technological development projects in the field of “Diagnostics and interventions in Chronic non-communicable diseases” with a specific focus on:

  • Development of tools and technologies for the diagnostics of chronic non-communicable diseases
  • Research and innovation within interventions for chronic non-communicable diseases
  • Mechanisms in chronic non-communicable diseases

Deadline for submission: 22 June 2015

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16 April 2015

Conference “The Atlantic – Our Shared Resource. Making the Vision Reality”

Brussels, Belgium


The implementation activities of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation, signed in May 2013 by the EU, Canada and the United States of America, and launching an Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, are moving to a new exciting stage.

This event will be the launch pad for all the ‘Galway Statement follow-up projects’ funded with the first Horizon 2020 Blue Growth calls - the main financial instrument on the EU side to make the Galway Statement commitments reality.

The Galway Statement contributes to the implementation of the EU’s Atlantic Strategy and its related Atlantic Action Plan, which considers responses to the challenges of delivering growth, reducing the carbon footprint, using the sea’s natural resources sustainably, responding effectively to threats and emergencies and implementing an “ecosystem” management approach in Atlantic waters.

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15 April 2015

2015 Research and Innovation Tour: Where Europe and China connect

From May to November 2015

Map of china Map of the 2015 Tour

The 2015 Research and Innovation Tour (Tour) is the 4th edition of an ambitious awareness raising campaign leading through 16 cities in 14 provinces across China. With an introduction of Europe's excellence in science and innovation, the Tour seeks to shape a vibrant EU-China research and innovation community through an array of European research and innovation opportunities. The 2015 Tour, running from May to November, follows on from successful previous editions which attracted more than 2000 interested and experienced Chinese stakeholders all over the country.

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13 April 2015

EU and Middle-East Building Bridges through Science Diplomacy

Publication Cover

The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas took today a new step towards strengthening cooperation in the Middle East through science diplomacy. To mark the EU's engagement towards building bridges between nations through research and innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas participated in a high level conference on "Addressing shared challenges through science diplomacy: the case of the EU –Middle East Regional Cooperation" and visited the Synchrotron light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) in Allan (Jordan). SESAME is a unique international endeavour launched in 2003 under UNESCO auspices by Eastern Mediterranean countries to enhance scientific and technological excellence and build a culture of cooperation and peace in the broader Middle East.

Those initiatives represent a further element to confirm the excellent EU-Jordan relationships and endorse the role of Jordan as an important partner in the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Commissioner Carlos Moedas said: "Cooperation in research and innovation with our Middle East partners is a priority for the EU. SESAME is a powerful example of how science and research can bring diverse nations together. Jordan's active engagement in regional science diplomacy in hosting SESAME is extremely valuable. I am also very pleased that the EU was granted SESAME observer status with unanimity."


The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is expected to have a broad socio-economic impact in Jordan and the region. It can be used for a wide scope of applications from imaging of diseases, designing pharmaceuticals, solar cell enhancements to CO2 capture and assessing archaeological artefacts. The EU has played a major role in the development of the initiative through technical and financial assistance provided by several EU Members States and the European Commission, amounting to more than EUR 12 million. EUR 5 million have been granted by EU 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Owing to SESAME's nature as widely-available 'scientific user facility', the EU will provide further support to training needs and staff exchanges with other European synchrotron infrastructures.

Science Diplomacy

Although it is not new in the EU context science diplomacy remains an emerging concept with a largely untapped potential. It has a particular added value in the EU - Middle East cooperation as many research and science initiatives in the region bring together countries and entities often at odds such as Iran, Israel, Palestine, Turkey and Cyprus. Being one of the EU's research priorities science diplomacy is considered instrumental in rebuilding trust, fostering understanding in the region and reaching out to youth, talent and creativity.

In the framework of his visit Commissioner Moedas opened, together with HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, a high-level conference entitled "Addressing shared challenges through Science Diplomacy: The case of the EU – Middle East regional cooperation". Among the speakers of the conference were other distinguished personalities such as Rolf Heuer – the Director-General of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Laszlo Lovasz – Chairman of the World Science Forum, HRH Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, HRH Princess Basma bint Ali, Dr Tracey Elliott for the Royal Society, 2014 Science Diplomacy Award Holder Zafra Lerman and others.

31 March 2015

Building Together Knowledge-oriented and Forward-looking EU Neighbourhood – Developing A Common Knowledge and Innovation Space


The event will be organized jointly by the European Commission (DG R&I) and the European Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Industry, Technology, Research and Energy (ITRE) committees. It will be opened by the Chairs of both committees – Elmar Brok and Jerzy Buzek respectively, together with EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the Latvian Minister for Education and Science - Marite Seile.

It will include a conference with keynote speakers and roundtables to allow for discussion, an exhibition of posters and video testimonials of research projects involving ENP countries, and a reception for the invited participants to allow networking.

The main objective of the event is to illustrate the potential and results of the EU-ENP cooperation in research and innovation towards the achievement of a Common Knowledge and Innovation Space between the EU and its Neighbors (both under FP7 and the recently launched Horizon 2020) as well as to identify future prospects for cooperation in this field, including foster the strong involvement of the ENP countries in Horizon 2020.

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27 March 2015

First ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and meeting with Korean counterparts

Photo of Cristina Russo Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation

Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation went on mission to Korea this week to participate in the first ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and to meet her Korean counterparts.

The EU Research & Innovation Day was extremely successful, attracting nearly 400 participants and top Korean leaders in research and innovation, notably the First Vice-Minister of MSIP and the Presidents and CEOs of major Korean companies and S&T Institutes. The event showcased S&T excellence in the EU and cooperation opportunities between public and private stakeholders from Europe and Korea.

The preparation of the upcoming Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee JSTCC meeting scheduled for 16 June was finalised at a meeting with MSIP, the main subjects and areas of exchange and discussion were also agree and a 2-hours workshop back-to-back with the JTSCC proposed by MSIP to focus on 'Technology Commercialisation' was also discussed.

Other Meetings took place with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) with an update on both sides on EU-Korea relations in industrial technology and pro-business policies, with members of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and with Member States representatives at various levels.

With 4.4% of GDP invested in R&D, excellent S&T capacities, and high speed in turning lab results into commercial products and services, Korea is a key international partner country for the EU. Our collaboration in research and innovation should be deepened and broaden, including in Korea-EU researchers' mobility in the context of the ERC and MSCA. At the same time, we need to continuously seek to improve the framework condition for cooperation.

23 March 2015

Strengthening cooperation between the EU and Brazil

Photo from the signing (from left to right)Celso Lafer (FAPESP), Ana Paula Zacarias (EU Delegation to Brazil) and Maria Cristina Russo (DG RTD)
© Leandro Negro/Agência Fapesp

The European Union, represented by Ana Paula Zacarias, Head of the EU Delegation in Brazil and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), represented by its President Celso Lafer, signed a "letter of intent" at a ceremony held on March 18, in São Paulo, Brazil.

The objective is to strengthen cooperation between the European Union, its Member-States and FAPESP by facilitating cooperation between researchers in Europe and São Paulo, and identifying research themes of common interest. Several areas of cooperation have already been identified, including the global societal challenges of climate change, migration, renewable energy, food security and demographic change.

Cristina Russo, the EU's Director for International Cooperation in Research and Innovation, who was also present at the meeting, stressed the importance of cooperation on research related to the Atlantic Ocean.

According to Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Scientific Director for FAPESP the next step will consist in establishing mechanism to support common research projects.

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20 March 2015

Ukraine joins Horizon 2020 to work with EU in science and research

 alt= Carlos Moedas, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Science and Innovation, travelled to Kiev to participate, together with Serhii Myronovych Kvit, Ukrainian Minister for Education and Science

Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. This is thanks to the Agreement for the Association of Ukraine to Horizon 2020, signed today in Kyiv by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Serhiy Kvit, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.

Commissioner Moedas said: "I am very pleased to welcome Ukraine into our EU research funding programme Horizon 2020. Ukraine has chosen to invest in its knowledge and in its people. Chosen to contribute to the common goals of the wider science and technology community. Ukraine's great research and innovation potential offers promising partnerships for Europe. And Ukraine will now have access to the full spectrum of activities funded under Horizon 2020, helping spur its economy. I hope Ukraine will make the most of these opportunities."

Horizon 2020 is the first EU programme in which Ukraine has chosen to participate following the beginning of provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This association to Horizon 2020 highlights that both the EU and Ukraine consider research and innovation crucial for economic growth and the creation of jobs.

The agreement opens a wide range of new opportunities to Ukrainian research institutions, universities and businesses across the whole research and innovation value chain, from fundamental research up to close-to-market activities. For instance, Ukraine will now be able to host European Research Council (ERC) grants, apply for financial support to innovative SMEs, benefit from support for scientific excellence and other research policies and participate in the governance structures of the programme.

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20 March 2015

Horizon 2020 promoted in Uruguay

Photo from the meeting (from left to right) Juan Fernández Trigo, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Uruguay, Cristina Russo, DG RTD, Fernando Filgueira, Sub-Secretary for Education and Culture of Uruguay, Gabriel Aintablian, Director of Innovación, Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo.

Montevideo, 16 March 2015

"It is very important to be able to strengthen the cooperation we have in research; and Uruguay can take advantage of all the opportunities that are open in the H2020 program" said Cristina Russo, Director of International Cooperation at DG RTD, on 16 March at the "Horizon 2020 – Open to the World" event in the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) of Uruguay.

Ms Russo explained to policy officers and researchers from Uruguay how the EU Framework programme, Horizon 2020 (H2020) focuses on scientific excellence, developing industrial leadership and facing new social challenges through research and innovation. It includes all aspects of knowledge generation and use, from basic research through to technology development and innovation, including social innovation. Through H2020, Uruguayan researchers, SMEs and universities can link with research centers, agencies and companies in Europe to collaborate for mutual benefit in science and technology.

Ms Russo concluded that: "For us in Europe, being a global player in research means cooperating with others" and "Cooperation with Latin America is a priority and Uruguay can play a fundamental part. I bring the testimony of the political will we have in the European Union to strengthen cooperation with Uruguay in research and innovation".

In the press

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.

13 March 2015

EU and Argentina celebrate their cooperation in science and technology

Buenos Aires, 13 March 2015

Today, the Minister for Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT) of the Republic of Argentina, Lino Barañao, and the Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission's Research and Innovation Directorate-General, Maria Cristina Russo, honour of the 10th anniversary of the Argentinean-European Union Liaison Office for Science, Technology and Innovation.

They are keynote speakers at the conference Argentina- European Union: 10 years of cooperation in science, technology and innovation, which gathers together Ambassadors of EU Member States in Buenos Aires. They are also 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.

Ms Russo also co-chairs 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.

These events are part of a series of events bringing together Argentine and European policy makers, researchers and administrators to take stock of on-going cooperation and reflect on opportunities for future activities. Other events include a seminar on Nanotoxicology and Nanoregulation as well as workshops on New Opportunities for Business Cooperation with Europe; Research Infrastructures – e-infrastructures; Marine Research and Structural Biology.

Under the umbrella of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, the EU enjoys very good bilateral relations with Argentina, whose researchers are eligible for funding from the EU's research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020. In addition, they work closely together through the regional cooperation stimulated by the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation.

Argentine researchers have been active and successful in the past framework programmes. In the seventh framework programme (the predecessor of Horizon 2020) one hundred and nineteen participants from Argentina were active in one hundred funded collaborative projects. The EU contribution to the Argentine participants in those 100 projects amounts to over €14 million. In addition 289 Marie Curie fellowships and eight of the prestigious ERC grants were awarded to Argentines in the course of FP7.

In the press

11 March 2015

Third meeting of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Expert Working Group (EWG) on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture

London, 5-6 March

EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Expert Working Group (EWG), London, 5-6 March 2015

The HLPD Expert Working Group met for the third time to make progress on their input to a roadmap developing a long-term EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership with a particular focus, initially, on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). This meeting followed an external consultation phase on the draft input that was launched in February 2015. The draft input focusses on three thematic pillars: sustainable intensification, agriculture and food systems for nutrition and agricultural markets and trade and some cross-cutting ones, such as innovation, social science, gender and capacity-building. The final input is expected to be presented to the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau on 27 April in Brussels.

The EU-Africa HLPD Bureau (co-chaired by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) and Congo Brazzaville replaced at this meeting by Namibia; the African Union Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG International Cooperation and Development, South Africa, Latvia, Germany, UK, France and Portugal were present) also met. The HLPD Bureau will now work on transforming the input of the EWG into a final roadmap towards the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership, specifically developing the potential modalities of cooperation and instruments to be used in the short-, medium- and long-term, before submitting it to the senior officials of the EU-Africa HLPD for their approval in March 2016 in Addis Ababa (tbc). On both sides, pre-meetings took place with those countries that are not currently seated in the EU-Africa HLPD Bureau (additional countries present were Belgium, Sweden, Kenya, Angola and Egypt).

In addition, a first meeting with potential funders took place, building on the successes achieved with the FP7 initiated international ERANET, ERAfrica. ERAfrica enabled 15 European and African countries to pool financial resources through a virtual fund for a total of 10.7 MEUR to fund collaborative research projects. Those funding agencies present (from France, Belgium, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Namibia) indicated a clear commitment to the roadmap of the EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership on FNSSA.

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18 February 2015

The Mediterranean innovation potential put forward during the Innovation week in Casablanca

2-5 March 2015, Casablanca, Morocco


The Innovation Week will take place from the 2nd to the 5th of March 2015 in Casablanca and will involve several EU projects working on the sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. Multiple workshops, trainings, roundtables and a brokerage event will be organised to discuss the great innovation potential of the Mediterranean Region.

Research and innovation cooperation within the Mediterranean is critical to tackle important common challenges and develop practical tools to achieve growth and job creation, environmental protection and social development.

The R2I programme from the European Commission supports this since 2012, co-financing projects aiming to bring research to the field and therefore foster innovation. These projects join forces with other Mediterranean initiatives to proudly present and animate events focusing on the great Mediterranean innovation potential.

The European project MENFRI – Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation will be one of the partners involved in this initiative and will co-organise two trainings: “Horizon 2020: An insight into the EU framework programme for research and innovation” (Wednesday 4th of March, with the project SOHEALTHY), and “Business & Innovation Training in the Mediterranean Area” (Thursday 5th of March, with the project MARE).

To develop its full research potential, the Mediterranean region needs to know and master the available tools and funding opportunities. The training on Horizon 2020 will provide attendants with the basic knowledge about H2020, how to prepare proposals and find adequate partners.

The training on “Business & Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” will aim to facilitate the knowledge, innovation and technology transfer from academia to business, while addressing crucial points such as commercialization (instruments, skills, etc).

The trainings will bring together researchers, SMEs, public organisations, technology transfer offices and other relevant stakeholders, and are open to all (registration is mandatory).

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13 February 2015


17-19 March 2015, Paris, France

STI Days logo

The ASEAN-EU Science Technology and Innovation Days bring together researchers, scientists, science policy makers, innovative companies, and other stakeholders from ASEAN and EU countries for a yearly three-day conference on science, technology, and innovation issues. The ASEAN-EU STI Days 2015 are the second edition of this event, which will focus on presenting ASEAN research excellence to European stakeholders as well as on raising awareness of the current developments in S&T in Southeast Asia. The event will take place on 17-19 March 2015 in Paris, France and is organised by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). The event is an ideal occasion for networking and exchange of ideas in the thematic areas Health, Water Management and Environment, Food Security and Safety, Metrology, or Innovation.

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12 February 2015

An INDIGO Opportunity: Call for Experts on Indian STI policy and cooperation

INDIGO Policy is seeking for an expert to provide analytic support to the project.

In the framework of the INDIGO POLICY project, the coordinator Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI GmbH) is looking for an STI expert to be implemented in the analysis work package. This WP deals with critically assessing the STI cooperation between Europe and India.

The offers for this tender have to be submitted until 22.2.2015 in electronic format to Mr. Ivan Zupan (Research associate at the Centre for Social Innovation), at

30 January 2015

EU and Brazil enhance local cooperation under Horizon 2020

Photo Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias and the president of CONFAP, Professor Sergio Gargioni

The Head of the EU Delegation to Brazil, Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias and the head of the Research and Innovation sector of the EU Delegation to Brazil, Dr Piero Venturi attended the Forum of the National Council of State Secretaries for ST&I issues (Consecti) at the Brazilian National Council of Research Support Foundations (CONFAP) on 4 December 2014, in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina State.

Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias and the president of CONFAP, Professor Sergio Gargioni, signed a Letter of Intent with the aim of exchanging relevant information on the participation of Brazilian institutions in Horizon 2020 and encourage the Brazilian Research Support Foundations (FAPs) to fund institutions and researchers in their States that are engaged in the proposals selected by the European programme.

Brazil's participation in the previous Framework Programme (FP7) was very significant and the intention is that the country maintains this robust participation in Horizon 2020.

More details on the EUD website (in Portuguese):
Press Release 1 | Press Release 2

9 January 2015

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launches CAS-EU Partner Programme to match Horizon 2020

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has announced the launch of a special CAS-EU Partner Programme with the aim to strengthen the strategic S&T cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the EU in the frame of the EU's Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020. CAS institutes and other CAS entities that are part of an already successfully approved Horizon 2020 project can apply to obtain financial support for their work in the Horizon 2020 project. The deadline for applying to the Partner Programme is 02 March 2015.

More information can be found at the CAS website

3 December 2014

BILAT USA 2.0 EU-U.S. Innovation Conference “How to integrate the innovation dimension in the EU-US S&T Agreement?”

BILAT - USA 2.0 Logo

ThThe BILAT USA 2.0 project (FP7) is organising the EU-US Innovation Conference on 14 – 15 January in Brussels.

The conference will focus on the question of “How to strengthen the innovation dimension in the future EU-U.S. Science and Technology (S&T) Agreement?”.

Representatives of DG Research and Innovation, representatives of ministries, American counterparts as well as experts from industry will present best-practices of successful innovation cooperation between the EU and the USA, with the aim to gain input and concrete suggestions on how to improve framework conditions for enhanced innovation cooperation.

There will further be a pre-conference workshop entitled “Towards enhanced EU-US innovation collaboration through policy measures” in the morning before the innovation conference.

More information:
BILAT USA 2.0 | Workshop

For further information please contact Heino NAU, DG RTD

28 November 2014

Head of the EU Delegation to Russia visits Yekaterinburg, 20-21 November 2014

Photo Participants at the meeting of the Praesidum of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Science

On 20-21 November 2014, the Head of the EU Delegation to Russia, Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, visited Yekaterinburg, Russia's fourth largest city, the centre of the Russian Ural region and one of the most important industrial centres of the country. It is also the birthplace of the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin and a city that positions itself as the "capital of Eurasia".

The programme of the visit included lectures to the students of two local universities – the Ural Federal University and the Ural State University of Economics, as well as attendance of a meeting of the Presidium of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. During the latter, Ambassador Ušackas addressed the audience, consisting of the Presidium members and directors of scientific institutes of the Ural region, with a speech on current relations between the European Union and Russia, in which he also underlined the importance of cooperation in research and called for a more active participation of research organisations from the region in the EU's Framework Programme, Horizon 2020. The visit received extensive coverage in the local press.

Additional information: EU Delegation to Russia

2 November 2014

EU-Russia Year of Science 2014

At the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels in December 2012 the political leaders of the EU and Russia agreed to make 2014 the "EU-Russia Year of Science". Starting on 25 November 2013, this year-long series of events, to be jointly organised across the EU and Russia, will celebrate the vibrant and multifaceted cooperation between the EU, the EU Member States and the Russian Federation in the areas of research, higher education and innovation.

Involving scientists, research organisations, universities, innovators and the wider public, the EU-Russia Year of Science will build on Russia's strong involvement in the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and on the dynamic cooperation in research between EU Member States and Russia.

Additional information, including backgrounders, calendar, and how to participate and propose events on the dedicated website in English or Russian

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International Research Newsletter
issue 61, November 2015

  • Commissioner Moedas' first mission to Latin America
  • 12th EU-China Joint Steering Committee in Beijing
  • EU-Africa cooperation
  • Fourth Steering Committee Meeting of the Euratom-China RD-PUNE Agreement
  • Strengthening EU-Eastern Partnership Cooperation in Energy Research
  • and much more...

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