3 October 2023, Barcelona – The Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Science Diplomacy, co-organised by the Union for the Mediterranean in partnership with the European Commission, took place with the aim of highlighting state-of-art of science diplomacy in the Mediterranean, its obstacles and opportunities, and discussing future steps. More than 80 people from 22 countries attended, including scientists, diplomats, and research and innovation officials who had been welcomed the evening prior to Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera to learn about La Pedrera Foundation’s Science Academy.
Participants exchanged ideas on highly relevant topics such as research infrastructures, mobility and training, and science advice for foreign policy. Attendees drafted a text summarising their views on the role of science diplomacy in the Mediterranean and both UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel and Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation and Global Approach of the European Commission at the European Commission, expressed excitement at its potential.
“Sharing knowledge and technology has always been one of main features of our Mediterranean region,” Kamel said, adding that science diplomacy could “help us build bridges, support a green transition, make our societies more resilient, and bring our economies closer.”
Similarly, Russo declared: “If there is a region in the world that can demonstrate the full potential of science diplomacy, it’s the Mediterranean.”
The 29th Meeting of the UfM Regional Platform on Research and Innovation was held a day later to track progress made with the Implementation Plan of the UfM Roadmaps on Health, Renewable Energy and Climate. Attendees discussed the results of a mapping exercise, the Horizon Europe ‘Mediterranean Initiative’, and agreed on the next steps to work towards creating a Knowledge Management and Communication Framework Platform (KMCP), a one-stop-shop for researchers and innovators in the Mediterranean region.
Photo: Ainhoa Goma