Two science and technology agreements signed in Brussels
On 30 November, the European Community (EC) signed technology cooperation agreements with Japan and Jordan that will help identify common research priorities and areas of common interest, such as energy, sustainable development and environment. Mechanisms will also be put in place to enable wider science and technology (S&T) cooperation.
The agreement with Japan provides for reciprocal participation in research programmes, exchange of researchers, and coordinated calls for proposals. The Jordanian agreement places emphasis on opening a new chapter of scientific cooperation between the EC and this important partner in the European Union's neighbourhood policy.
The agreements are a further step in the new strategy for international cooperation in S&T launched by the Commission in 2008. This strategy identifies two key areas:
- strengthening the international dimension of the European Research Area (ERA) by closely involving Europe's neighbours with the ERA and fostering strategic cooperation with key third countries;
- improving the framework conditions for international S&T cooperation by building global research infrastructures, increasing researcher mobility, opening research programmes, promoting intellectual property issues, and ensuring reciprocity, equitable treatment, and mutual benefits.
Of the agreement with Japan, EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik, said, 'This agreement between the EC and Japan opens a new chapter in the history of science and research cooperation between two of the main knowledge providers in the world in a new era of international global cooperation in research. We face common challenges and we should address them together for our planet, for our people and for our future. It also represents one step further in the opening of the European Research Area to the world.'
The European Community and Japan agreed earlier this year on deeper collaboration in the field of energy research, when a new joint rolling-action plan was launched. This includes an enhanced exchange of information, scientists, managers and reviewers, as well as more joint workshops on specifically agreed sub-topics. Regular follow-up meetings will be held to assess progress, with the next event planned in Europe before the end of 2009.
Jordan has become the fifth Mediterranean Partner Country to sign an S&T cooperation agreement with the EC (the other four being Egypt, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia). Jordan has identified energy, sustainable development, health and agriculture as priorities for international cooperation in research.
Under the agreement, a joint EC-Jordan Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation will be created and will meet regularly. It will help identify common research priorities and put in place the necessary tools for cooperation (e.g. reciprocal participation in research programmes, exchange of researchers, coordinated calls for proposals, etc.).
Both agreements will come into force when the respective ratification procedures are completed, which should be in the course of 2010.
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Category: General policy
Data Source Provider: European Commission
Document Reference: Based on information from the European Commission (IP/09/1843 and IP/09/1844)
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Innovation, Technology Transfer; Policies