The Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee with Morocco took place on 21st January 2021 and was co-chaired by Mr Ahmed Hammouch, Director of Scientific research and innovation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Ms Nienke Buisman, Head of Unit for Asia, Africa, Middle East, and External Relations in DG Research and Innovation. The meeting was opened by Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation, where she stressed on-going work on a new global approach on international cooperation for research and innovation, education and youth to be adopted this year as part of the European Commission’s Work Programme.
Morocco is a key bilateral and regional partner to the EU in Research and Innovation, e.g. through its involvement in the Ministerial meeting in July 2020 of the EU-AU High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as the Union for the Mediterranean Regional Platform for Research and Innovation. Since June 2019 until present, a number of promising initiatives have been concluded with Morocco such as the signature of the Implementing Arrangement for the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (November 2019) and the recently signed Administrative Arrangement on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation (December 2020), as part of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. These all represent building blocks towards strengthening our bilateral and regional cooperation with Morocco, as we now transition to the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon Europe.
Morocco has a long-standing cooperation since the signing of the Science and Technology Agreement with the EU in 2003. A significant number of participants or research entities from Morocco currently are benefitting from Horizon 2020, second only to Tunisia who was an associated country to Horizon 2020. The following points were discussed during the meeting: the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area; the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and BLUEMED Initiative; the Hydrogen Partnership under Mission Innovation and the EU-AU R&I Partnership on Climate Change and Renewable Energy; Health and COVID-related research; Finally, the Marie-Curie Actions, researcher’s mobility and exchanges for PhD students.
21 január 2021