On 24 March, the European Commission hosted the 10th EU-Brazil Joint Steering Committee meeting (JSCM) under the ‘Agreement on Scientific and Technological cooperation between the European Community and the Federative Republic of Brazil’. The meeting took place online and was co-chaired by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and Ambassador Achilles Zaluar, Director of the Department for Technology Promotion of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Commission’s counterpart on the Brazilian side. Ambassador Ignacio Ybáñez, Ambassador of the EU to Brazil and Ambassador Marcos Galvão, Ambassador of Brazil to the EU, participated together with high-level experts and officials on both sides. At the opening Mr. Javier Niño Perez, Director/Deputy Managing Director for the Americas at the European External Acton Service (EEAS) welcomed the Committee.
The JSCM acknowledged the central role of research and innovation in the overall EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership (2007) as well as the importance of the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (2014-2021) for promoting EU-Brazilian cooperation on research and innovation. It highlighted several EU-Brazil research and innovation flagship achievements in key areas as marine research, water, health, greener and safer aviation, digital, space research, sustainable cities, and research infrastructures among others. The progress in these key areas are paving the way to enhanced cooperation under Horizon Europe.
The Joint Steering Committee Meeting was primarily focused on Green and Digital Transitions, Global Health, among other strategic areas. Tackling global health challenges has been particularly important in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brazil is a participant in two projects issued from the EC Emergency calls. The country has played an essential role in combatting previous epidemics such as Zika and holds the 5th position in participations among the non-EU countries in the Health Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020. At the JSCM the EU and Brazil reaffirmed their willingness to pursue cooperation also through existing multilateral platforms such as the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Diseases Preparedness (GloPID-R) as well as through new potential transnational initiatives.
The Committee praised the co-funding support to the Brazilian participants in Horizon 2020 consortia and both sides acknowledged the need for a co-funding mechanism under Horizon Europe. With regard to human capital development, including researchers’ mobility, the role of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the bilateral Implementing Arrangement on the European Research Council was welcomed and highly valued.
Brazil is a key country in future global scenarios in the context of environment, climate change, and biodiversity. Thus, the Joint Steering Committee Meeting presented the possibilities of cooperation and initiatives in biodiversity and eco-systems, preventing and combating wildfires. Moreover, facilitating mutual awareness and access between Research Infrastructures’ landscapes was also one of the highlights.
The JSCM analysed digital cooperation perspectives under Horizon Europe in areas such as robotics, data engineering, artificial intelligence, cyber-security among others. Space Cooperation, on its turn, contributes to tackling a wide range of societal challenges and helps foster innovation and digitalization; on the basis of existing bilateral legal arrangements (Copernicus arrangement) and support services like the Galileo Information Center in Brazil, the Committee took note of intense on-going activities, involving as well the European and Brazilian Space Agencies.
Next JSCM is envisaged tentatively for the second half of 2022, ahead of it experts’ work and bilateral interactions will be pursued.
Source: European Commission