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Connecting Australian-European Science and Innovation Excellence

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Promoting EU-Australian research and innovation

Marking the first agreement between the EU and a third country, the EU-Australia Science and Technology Agreement was put into effect in 1994. Now, a new project is furthering the work of previous initiatives to build on the long-standing bilateral research collaboration.

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The 'Connecting Australian-European science and innovation excellence' (CAESIE) project is continuing the work undertaken by the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committees (JSTCC), the Forum for European-Australian Science and Technology Cooperation (FEAST) and the AUS-ACCESS4EU project. The undertaking promotes institutional dialogue to enhance bilateral cooperation and policy dialogue regarding key issues that affect the framework conditions for innovation. CAESIE represents a reaffirmed commitment to strengthen cooperation on research and innovation, to be enhanced by engaging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well. Further, the focus has been refined to also address major, shared global societal challenges deemed a priority. The team is targeting the creation and support of sustainable research collaborations that promote the transition of research to a product or service. This can be achieved by partnering the best researchers with the best innovators. A kick-off meeting was held in October 2012 to launch the project and discuss the way forward. A second meeting was held a year later to review activities to date and develop a plan for the second year. A pilot priming grants scheme was developed, and a call in 2013 received 49 applications and a total of 28 grants being awarded. The second stage priming grants process is underway. CAESIE priming grants have lifted the bilateral research partnership to a new strategic and results-oriented level. Some 80 % of completed priming grants reported successful interactions that have resulted in or are leading to Australian-EU research-industry collaborative partnerships. The project website provides information on, among others, funding opportunities in Australia, the Australian network of National Contact Points (NCPs), Horizon 2020 and project priority areas. Dissemination is taking place through a LinkedIn group page, the International Cooperation in Horizon 2020 website, a Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) international research update newsletter, and NCP networks in Australia and Europe. CAESIE Info-tours have also been planned. Project efforts are improving cooperation and prospects for collaboration between Australia and Europe in the areas of science, technology and innovation. Australian and European researchers, SMEs and other innovation actors will now have more opportunities and more active involvement in research and innovation programmes, all together benefiting society in both Australia and the EU.

Keywords

Research and innovation, Australia, science and technology, bilateral research, global societal challenges

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