There are many high-tech ways that research and development can help alleviate poverty, particularly if policies are designed and fine-tuned to help science programmes combat poverty and exclusion. The EU-funded project 'Science against poverty conference under the Spanish Presidency' (Science Against Poverty) studied the role of socioeconomic sciences to clarify poverty dynamics and propose solutions. In April 2010, the project team organised a conference on the role of research and innovation in fighting poverty, gathering 230 participants, 40 journalists and 200 live-streaming web visitors. The event tackled poverty-related topics such as food, nutrition, reducing the knowledge gap, water availability, sanitation, health, environment, sustainability, gender and others. Urgent topics discussed also included access to innovative medical technologies and medicines, inequalities in accessing the Internet, and the creation of economically sustainable communities. The conference results strongly underlined how responsible research and innovation can alleviate poverty. They helped ensure that the European Research Area (ERA) can help meet social objectives, integrating the contributions of citizens and civil society organisations and citizens in research and innovation. Moreover, the conference conclusions were adopted by the Competitiveness Council to represent the social dimension of the ERA in research and innovation. This was followed by a final project workshop in late 2010 which consolidated the results and disseminated them through the website among other channels. The project highlighted the importance of developing policy guidelines and joining forces to tackle poverty through the ERA. Once the EU's research and innovation agenda adopts this important concept, Europe could serve as a model of poverty alleviation across the globe.
“Science against Poverty” Conference under the Spanish Presidency
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27 June 2019