· Two meetings, the 26th Meeting of the UfM Regional Platform in Research and Innovation, and a “Virtual Regional Seminar and Celebration of Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation – Milestones and Future Prospects” indicated a strong commitment on Research and Innovation from the European Commission and the 42 Member States.
· Taking stock of the 5th UfM Regional Forum held on 27 November, participants acknowledged past achievements, including the PRIMA and BLUEMED, and discussed the future priorities for the next years.
Barcelona, 10 December. On the margins of the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, the European Commission, in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean, jointly organised a regional seminar, with the objective of taking stock of the EUROMED R&I cooperation and informing the wider community of R&I stakeholders in the region about recent developments and future prospects.
The seminar was chaired by Itaf Ben Abdallah, Senior Advisor for Higher Education and Research, and informed participants on the most recent developments of the EUROMED R&I cooperation initiatives. Among the topics, the progress since the 2017 Valletta Declaration, as well as on the current and future R&I priorities in the region were addressed, by raising the examples of several success stories of R&I cooperation in the region.
The seminar saw the participation of researchers and representatives from academia, industry, and research institutes, technology transfer centres, incubators, technology platforms, and grant offices from universities and research centres of the 42 UfM countries.
Concrete indications on the future priorities for political cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean were given by Carl Hallergard, Deputy Managing Director, at the European External Action Service and by Guglielmo di Cola, Member of Cabinet of the Commissioner responsible for Research and Innovation.
“The domain of Research and Innovation has always been among the key priorities of the UfM even before the pandemic. We are now called to use the opportunity for change brought forward by the crisis to use research and innovation for building back better through sustainability growth and health”, said the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Nasser Kamel.
“Research and Innovation has been a pillar of the EU-South Neighbourhood cooperation as it underpins all of the challenges both regions are facing, such as climate change, health and digital transformation. Our future strategy that we are now developing with the Union for the Mediterranean should even be more ambitious” said Maria Cristina Russo, Co-chair of the UfM Regional Platform on Research and Innovation.
During the same day, the 26th Meeting of the UfM Regional Platform in Research and Innovation, was held managed by its Cochairs, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, and the Higher Council for Science & Technology, Kingdom of Jordan.
During this meeting, three thematic priorities for future research on Health, Renewable Energy and Climate Change were discussed, on the basis of the preparatory work done by the UfM Expert Group on Research and Innovation. The gathering represents a milestone in advancing the future for the Research and Innovation agenda for the Euro-Mediterranean region.