On the road to the UfM Ministerial on Research and Innovation: First UfM Ad-hoc Senior Official Meeting
- The new UfM Research and Innovation agenda supports three new research priorities: climate change, health and renewable energy.
- The UfM meeting of Senior Officials on 21 October endorsed the R&I platform proposal to hold an R&I Ministerial.
- The UfM Ad-hoc Senior Official Meeting convened on 20 December kickstarted the process for agreeing on a joint UfM Ministerial Declaration.
20 December 2021, Barcelona. The UfM meeting of Senior Officials on 21 October endorsed the R&I platform proposal to hold a Ministerial on Research and Innovation, the first under the UfM framework. This virtual meeting is scheduled to be hosted by France and will take place in June 2022. The accompanying declaration will be a milestone in paving the way for further cooperation in the region in terms of fostering linkages on research, innovation and skills as well as supporting capacity building, coordination and joint actions.
The First UfM Ad-hoc Senior Official Meeting on Research and Innovation offered the first opportunities for the Co-Presidency and UfM Member States to discuss the future declaration on Research and Innovation. Participants expressed their support for this process, and the relevance of deepening regional cooperation based on the agreed priorities of climate change, health and renewable energy. Participants also agreed to reconvene for a second meeting in February.
“Scientific cooperation is becoming more and more an established tool for promoting our mandate of regional cooperation and integration,” said UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel, “and this new agenda goes in the right direction for supporting our policymakers in making the right choices and our societies in being more informed on the challenges ahead of us, and on the innovative solutions that are possible.”
Building on the Declaration of the 2017 Ministerial Conference on “Strengthening Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation through Research and Innovation” (Valletta), the UfM Regional Platform in Research and Innovation (R&I) has engaged since November 2019 in strategic discussions on the future R&I priorities.
A Working Group of leading experts constituted by the UfM Co-Presidency and, together with the National Focal Points and the UfM Secretariat, has worked intensively on a set of R&I Roadmaps in the jointly agreed priority areas of Health, Climate Change, and Renewable Energies. The UfM Regional Platform for R&I, on 7 July 2021, adopted the respective roadmaps for these priorities and proposed to hold an R&I Ministerial in the region meeting in 2022.