9th meeting of the EUROPEAN UNION-LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN WORKING GROUP ON RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES (WG RI)

The 9th meeting on EU-CELAC Working Group on Research Infrastructures (WG RI) took place online on 28 April 2022. The meeting was co-chaired by Martin Penny, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, and Fernando Amestoy, Director of the Institute Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Uruguay. A total of 28 delegates and participants from LAC and the EU attended the meeting.

The meeting focused on the upcoming RI-related events (ICRI 2022, Horizon Europe call, EU-LAC 4th Joint Call) and a debate on the possible areas that the Working Group should focus on in the following years. The WG meeting also welcomed CERN as an observer.

The commission’s presentation expressed interest in continuing work on the next ‘service facility’ supporting the WG, which should boost the organization’s capacity enough to cover the next four years of operations. Public procurement is currently ongoing, and more news and updates should be available in the following months. This 9th meeting is a springboard towards the additional incoming support by the future service facility, opening the discussion on future priorities to get the general feeling within the WG and their views and preferences.

While on stage for the future of Horizon Europe on Research Infrastructures, Patricia Postigo McLaughlin and Jimena Arango Montanez, shared with the audience the upcoming call on research infrastructures, targeting the LAC region. The call concept is still being developed, with support planned for the development from the outcomes of the EU-LAC ResInfra project. The call is meant to parallel the future service facility’s work, complementing policy activities with project-type actions. The main topics are energy, health, biodiversity, climate change, and food security.

The EU-RESINFRA project represented by Inmaculada Figueroa Rojas and Claudia Romano informed the delegates about the 4th EU-LAC Joint Call on STI, which contains several topics on research infrastructures. The call was published by the EU-LAC Interest Group and is closely linked to both the EU-LAC ResInfra project and the WG activity. As part of this link with the EU-LAC ResInfra project, a series of seminars on RI cooperation will be held from June to September 2022, as well as a workshop on HPC for international collaboration between Europe and Latin America.

Finally, the last discussion centered in the following new, priority thematic-areas that WG aims to explore such as energy, biodiversity, circular economy, open science and open data, sustainability, knowledge valorization, organizational modes, among others, as well as a closer alignment with the ICRI topics.