Meeting to step up worldwide co-operation in science and research

17 May 2011

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is meeting key international stakeholders today from science and research to look at ways of stepping up world-wide cooperation in this area.

It’s part of the consultation procedure on the European Commission’s Green Paper on the future of EU research and innovation funding and participants include EU ambassadors and science counsellors from key non-EU partner countries, representatives of international research organisations and representatives from Member State research liaison offices.

Together, they’re looking at the international aspects of EU research and innovation funding programmes which address key global societal challenges, such as climate change, health, energy and food security.

“There should be no barriers and no borders to science. We need to put the European Union’s future Common Strategic Framework for research and innovation at the service of good ideas and excellent research across the world,” said Geoghegan-Quinn.

“The global challenges that we face are immense – as are the opportunities. It is only in a spirit of cooperation and determination that we can effectively square up to these challenges and opportunities and build a better world for our people today and for future generations.”

The Seventh Framework Programme for Resarch (FP7)

International cooperation under the EU’s current Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) takes place in a number of ways and organisations from 185 different countries have already benefitted from participation in FP7.

Countries associated formally to the programme pay a financial contribution and their researchers participate in an identical manner to those from the EU Member States. But 6pc of participants in projects under FP7 are from other countries in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Oceania.

“EU-funded researchers are working directly in jointly funded projects with Brazil on bio-fuels, with the US on nanotechnology, with Russia and China on the greening of air transport, and with Japan on superconductors,” said the commissioner.