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ERANET-LAC Report Summary

Project ID: 609484
Funded under: FP7-INCO
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 3 - ERANET-LAC (Network of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean Countries on Joint Innovation and Research Activities)

Project Context and Objectives:
Summary description of project context and objectives

The “Network of the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean Countries (LAC) on Joint Innovation and Research Activities” ERANet-LAC (Grant agreement no: 609484 ), started in 10/2013 with the aim to support the political process of implementing the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI), which was endorsed by the “Madrid Action Plan 2010-2012 in 2010. The JIRI aims, among others, to “establish regular bi-regional dialogue on science, research, technology and innovation to consolidate EU-CELAC cooperation and to update common priorities, encourage mutual policy learning and ensure the proper implementation and effectiveness of cooperation instruments” .

ERANet-LAC has successfully supported the implementation of the JIRI by developing and organizing two bi-regional joint calls and six Pilot Coordination Actions. These joint activities were realized in close interaction with EU and CELAC funding agencies on the one side and in close cooperation with various bi-regional initiatives that aimed at initiating and fostering “bi-regional joint activities”. These initiatives were first and foremost ALCUE NET and thematically focused initiatives such as EU-LAC HEALTH, ENSOCIO LAC or LEADERSHIP.

In order to address the joint actions in the thematic areas discussed under the JIRI, the topic recommendations for the joint calls were prepared by the five thematic SOM working groups for Energy, Bioeconomy, Biodiversity/Climate Change, Health and ICT. Thus, ERANet-LAC has successfully contributed to the opening of research programmes in these areas and, in general, strengthened the existing thematic networks and partnerships on agreed issues of mutual interest.

In order to secure the sustainability of the actions realized in the frame of the Project, the 18 consortium members and 15 non-partner funding organizations established the EU-CELAC Interest Group for bi-regional cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI). The EU-CELAC IG builds on the collaboration experience and mutual trust established in past and ongoing FP7 projects e.g. in the framework of ERANet-LAC and strives to organize future joint actions. The EU-CELAC IG is technically supported by the EU-CELAC funding agencies platform which was developed in the frame of ERANet-LAC and offers information on EU-CELAC funding agencies as well as a partnering tool and an online “multi-call-tool”.

In March 2017 ERANet-LAC was granted a project extension for 9 months (1st April to 31st December 2017). During this extension period ERANet-LAC partners strive to consolidate the project outcomes, namely a) the the EU-CELAC Interest Group and the Platform for Funding Agencies with all their members and potentially interested organizations and b) to ensure that the projects from the two joint calls are implemented and running properly.

In the EU-CELAC summit held in June 2015 in Brussels, i.e. in the midth of the ERANet-LAC project period, the EU and CELAC leaders highlighted the value of EU-CELAC cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation and called for a strengthened cooperation and moving towards an “EU-CELAC Common Research Area based on increased research cooperation, enhanced mobility of researchers and exchange of knowledge and best practices”. One of the declared objectives of the EU-CELAC IG is to support the implementation of the Common EU-CELAC Research Area and create further added value to its abovementioned goals.

Project Results:
Description of the work performed and the main results achieved

Focusing on the priorities defined in the JIRI, ERANet-LAC has strengthened the bi-regional partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation by planning and implementing concrete joint activities. For this purpose, over its entire life-time, the project realized a consultation process and thus actively promoted the involvement of research and innovation funding agencies, programme owners, programme managers and other relevant stakeholders from both regions in the activities.

ERANet-LAC has successfully implemented two joint calls with the overall participation of 30 funding organizations from 25 countries. Furthermore, the project coordinated Pilot Coordination Actions which enhance the coordination and clustering of existing research programmes and the mutual opening of research infrastructures and innovation programmes.

The innovation dimension has run like a thread through all activities organized in the frame of ERANet-LAC. This effort climaxed in an innovation forum which was organized in Madrid in March 2016 to foster bi-regional cooperation in innovation, identify future collaboration opportunities among innovation entities in cooperation with the EU-funded ELAN network project: 42 experts in innovation and/or members of innovation funding agencies have developed a set of policy recommendations to enhance and strengthen the cooperation among the EU and LAC countries taking into account the new cooperation trends, the needs according to the specific capacities as well as the drivers and barriers encountered.

In the final stage of ERANet-LAC, the EU-CELAC Platform for Funding Agencies was developed. It was launched in March 2017 ( and serves as information and communication platform that shall facilitate and enhance the development of future joint initiatives.

In order to create perspectives for future joint activities beyond the project, ERANet-LAC partners together with 15 non-partner organizations from CELAC, EU Member States and Associated Countries constituted the EU-CELAC Interest Group, which promotes bi-regional science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration and concretely promotes future activities. In doing so, it will take advantage of the partnering tools developed in the EU-CELAC platform mentioned above. The European Commission welcomes this initiative and is willing to contribute where possible.

The entirety of these measures lead to the development of a framework for future bi-regional joint activities with European and Latin-American / Caribbean research and innovation funding agencies and programme owners which was summarized in a so-called EU-CELAC roadmap. It has been created with the objective to give the guidelines and secure sustainability of the project outcomes beyond the life-time of ERANet-LAC.

The project extension of 9 additional months (1st April to 31st December 2017) will concretely build up on the above presented activities comprise
• the monitoring of the implementation of follow up the projects funded through the joint calls,; extract lessons learnt/good practices; explore their potential for Horizon 2020;
• the coordination of a 3rd joint call for 2018/2019;
• the creation of a sound basis for EU-CELAC Interest Group and for the Platform for funding agencies

Potential Impact:
Description of the final results and their potential impacts and use
The most relevant and overarching outcome of ERANet-LAC is that it successfully fostered the bi-regional cooperation in research and innovation through the organization and implementation of concrete joint activities and by creating a sustainable framework for future bi-regional joint activities with both European and Latin- American / Caribbean research and innovation funding agencies and programme owners.
The consultation process and the involvement of funding agencies from both regions (within and outside the project consortium) in the joint activities strongly supported the involvement of partners with less international STI experience, since these were introduced in the administrative and technical processes necessary for inter- and multinational cooperation. In addition, with their participation in the joint activities, they were given the opportunity for mutual learning and developing common governing principles on joint issues, such as evaluation, general procedures and ethics. This allowed the national research and innovation communities to build and strengthen solid international networks between the two regions which have the potential to persist over the life-time of ERANet-LAC.
The Pilot Coordination Actions, which supported opening of national and regional research and innovation programmes and infrastructures, have promoted the establishment of common objectives and cooperation agendas and thus increased their impact.
The participation of the national researchers and innovation actors from more than 30 EU-CELAC countries in the projects that resulted from the joint calls are fostering the knowledge spill-over by gaining and allowing access to international knowledge in the above mentioned priority areas.
The Staff Exchange Programme between scientific and administrative staff of funding agencies participating in the ERANet-LAC joint activities has proven to remove existing institutional barriers, enhanced the flow of information and fostered mutual learning and the exchange of best practices and expertise.
The joint activities carried out in the project have been assessed and evaluated and now provide sustainable recommendations for future funding activities between EU and CELAC. A traceable roadmap has been formulated. It offers concrete information and manuals to facilitate the implementation of joint funding activities among research and innovation funding agencies in both regions beyond the ERANet-LAC time frame.
The EU-CELAC platform for funding agencies will not only guarantee the smooth implementation and administration of the future joint activities but also the outreach of the activities to other countries (that were not partners of the EU-CELAC consortium). The platform is conceptualized especially to support the activities to be coordinated after the life-time of the ERANet-LAC.
The EU-CELAC Interest Group will promote bi-regional STI collaboration and concretely support the implementation of future joint activities, starting from the project end of ERANet-LAC. Its more than 30 members confirmed their willingness to realize joint calls and or other types of cooperation activities to be carried out among different funding agencies in the EU and CELAC countries taking advantage of the experiences and structures developed through ERANet-LAC.

The project extension will be used to not only further develop the activities mentioned but also to expand and further align the group of funding partners and other interested organizations than they are to date.

The following list summarizes the main activities and results achieved
➢ Alignment of project partners and promoting dialogue between the consortium and funding parties potentially interested in participating in the joint actions.
➢ Realization of a consultation process; integration of 15 non-partner funding agencies in the joint activities of the project (and further organizations in the EU-CELAC platform for funding agencies (see below).

➢ Pilot Coordination Activities (PCAs): six projects have been realized and promoted opening and coordination of innovation programmes and infrastructures
➢ Launch of two transnational Joint Calls
➢ Evaluation report of the bi-regional joint activities
➢ Launch of the EU-CELAC funding agencies platform
➢ Formulation of roadmap for future joint activities
➢ Constitution of EU-CELAC interest group
➢ Visibility through project website (, project flyers, regularly disseminated press releases and presentations in events of related projects

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