On October 19th, the European Union – Latin America and the Caribbean Foundation (EU-LAC Foundation) organized a workshop that brought together relevant actors from both regions in the framework of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation (JIRI). EU-LAC RESINFRA was one of the initiatives presented in this workshop entitled “Exchange on progress made and opportunities for bi-regional cooperation in research and innovation – one year after agreement on the JIRI EU – LAC Strategic Road Map 2021-2023”. It was organized in close collaboration with the Pro-Tempore Presidency of CELAC, Mexico, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and the Coordinator of the National Contact Points of LAC. The event was opened by Adrián Bonilla, Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation, who mentioned the importance of science as an essential area to strength the link between Europe and LAC. Adrián Bonilla stressed also that the JIRI is one of the most significant initiatives between the European Union and Latin America.
The concrete objective of this event was to follow up on the actions around the four pillars agreed at the Eighth Senior Officials Meeting on Science and Technology of the JIRI in October 2020: mobility of researchers, cooperation in research infrastructures, global challenges – particularly health, environmental aspects of sustainable development/green transition and digital transformation – and innovation. EU-LAC RESINFRA was presented by Inmaculada Figueroa, from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and coordinator of the project, who exposed its main achievements and contributions for the development of the cooperation in research infrastructure’s pillar. Projects like EU LAC RESINFRA contribute to leverage and coordinate the existing scientific and academic networks, and to promote events capable of attracting people from both regions on relevant topics for the construction and concretization of a joint EU-LAC agenda.
The event was attended also by Claudia Romano, Coordinator of the National Contact Points Network for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation, Adrián Bonilla, together with Martín Penny (Head of Unit, International Cooperation of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission), Javier Dávila Torres (General Director of Cooperation Policy, Mexican Agency of International Development Cooperation) and Rogelio Granguillhome (Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of Belgium and Luxembourg and Permanent Mission to the European Union), among others.
During the workshop, it was made clear that the pillar with the most significant progress was Research Infrastructures, which plays a fundamental role in advancing and coordinating with scientific and academic networks. EU-LAC RESINFRA’s work is of great importance for this pillar, considering that this project supports precisely this area in order to enhancing the cooperation and integration between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean.
This was a relevant event to understand the current state and implementation of the roadmap previously proposed for JIRI and to visualize future challenges and opportunities that may arise. One important conclusion was the importance of having more events like this one for the promotion of coordination and inter-regional joint work in a wide range of scientific areas, always emphasizing cooperation.