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European research for the Latin-American Seafood industry

Final Report Summary - EUROLATSEA (European research for the Latin-American Seafood industry)

The overall goal of the project was to facilitate access to R&D and innovation activities to Latin American companies of the seafood sector. EUROLATSEA was set up as to represent a support platform to interface our target groups to science and technology, funding programmes and towards technology transfer. This has been enacted through a series of workshops aimed at informing and communicating the framework for funding in which EUROLATSEA operates, as well as highlighting the benefits, and main barriers towards the innovation of processes and acquisition of technology. As a Support Action, EUROLATSEA had the mission of making the ground fertile for technological innovation, encouraging actors of the industry to take part in international R&D activities. The workshops were thus organised to be events in which the spotlight is on its participants, giving them the opportunity to discuss their perceived needs, as they are the ones making those events rich and fruitful.

The experience of EUROLATSEA was a very fruitful one, events have been very successful and the participation keen and proactive. One-to-one meeting activities were highly attended and most workshop participants were very interested in receiving direct, customised advice on the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) rules and participation. In many cases, however, the consortium partners had to limit the expectations of the organisations and not give false hopes about the participation in FP projects. Although one has to trust that excellent ideas are the key to winning proposals, it is also true that competition is fierce and there are some preliminary analyses and checks (concerning the precise call objectives, the overall framework in which the project would fall into, quality of partners, etc.) and it is important to convey these messages to potential future actors of FP7 without giving false illusions concerning the preparation of a competitive proposal and the rates of success. It was always the position of the EUROLATSEA project to give fair and objective information and advice so that those parties reacting would surely be eligible and holding the necessary capacity and perspective to engage in such risky and long-term projects and initiatives.

The workshop model that was introduced in Latin America through EUROLATSEA have been adopted and recognised as very efficient and useful for business events as well. For this reason, still at this time the EUROLATSE, partners are still invited to take part in different fairs and events in the seafood sector as keynote speaker on FP7 funding opportunities and European projects. EUROLATSEA is the first milestone in FP7 activities in the Latin American seafood sector and leaves a mark within its stakeholders. In supporting such initiative, the EC opened a new path for collaboration with Latin America (LA), which of research collaboration in the seafood sector and it is now essential that similar activities do not end in the field. In the light of what has been achieved in EUROLATSEA, it would be crucial that the EC followed through this policy and investment by supporting new measures that could build on EUROLATSEA outcomes to continue and expand EU-LA cooperation in seafood related research. Hopefully, this will be reflected in the future work programmes, which since the beginning of FP7 have not really offered many opportunities to the actors of the sector, and even less so in terms of international cooperation with LA.

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