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Next Friday, October 30th, the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation Senior Officials Meeting will take place virtually, co-hosted by Maria Elena Álvarez-Buyilla, Director-General of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), as CELAC Pro Tempore Presidency, and by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation, in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research & Innovation. Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, will deliver the keynote speech of the conference, together with Commissioner Marya Gabriel, from the European Union.

In the meeting, representatives from the European Commission’s General Secretariat and the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, together with Mexico’s Vice-minister of Prevention and Health Promotion, will present the joint response given to the global challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Argentina’s Vice-minister of Planning and Studies, in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and representatives from the European Commission’s European Innovation Council Taskforce and the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, will present the conclusions from the EU-CELAC Innovation Cooperation Conference 2019, discussing the consolidation of innovation as the fourth pillar of the Common Research Area. The future of the Common Research Area, and the potential collaboration opportunities under the new Horizon Europe programme, will also be the object of a discussion led by representatives of Peru’s National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONYCET) and the European Comission’s Directorate-General for Research & Innovation.

Additionally, the meeting will discuss the progress achieved and future prospects regarding some of the main points agreed in the last Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation Senior Officials Meetings (JIRI SOM), namely:

  • Research infrastructures: report on the achievements of the Working Group since the endorsement of its mandate by the 2017 JIRI SOM; action plan for the next months; promotion of linkages between RIs in the EU with the developing clusters in LAC; assessment of developments in the EU-LAC ResInfra project;
  • Mobility of researchers: current state; human capital development through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the Erasmus+ programme; available tools and instruments to improve mobility, training and doctoral programmes; development of a regional portal for researchers in CELAC;
  • Global challenges and cooperation in priority areas, including health, green transition, digital transformation and others.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the Heads of SOM Delegation to exchange comments and observations, and will conclude with closing remarks from the Co-chairs.