FinCEAL Plus participated in the EU-CELAC Knowledge Week in El Salvador, 2-6 October 2017

UniPID/FinCEAL Plus LAC participated in the first EU-CELAC Knowledge Week celebrated in El Salvador on October 2-6, 2017. The week was packed with events that aimed at strengthening the dialogue between the two regions on various topics related to higher education, scientific, technological and innovation cooperation. The EU-CELAC Knowledge Week started on October 2 with a policy-level Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI). Participants represented 26 countries from both regions. The FinCEAL+ LAC coordinator Kajsa Ekroos was part of the Finnish delegation together with representatives of VTT, Academy of Finland and the Finnish Embassy in Mexico.

The discussions at the SOM meeting focused on recent and upcoming developments of the 3 strategic pillars of the EU-CELAC Common Research Area: mobility of researchers, international outreach of research infrastructures and increased bi-regional thematic cooperation to address global challenges; as well as highlighted the strategic relevance of research and innovation for implementing the 2030 Agenda. The flagship topics for EU-CELAC cooperation within the 2018-2020 Work Programme of Horizon2020 will be health (upcoming call "Transnational collaborative cancer research between Europe and CELAC” with 25 million € of funding) and sustainable urbanization, although other calls are obviously also open for CELAC participation. It may also be of interest for Finnish institutions, that the development of research and innovation capacities is included as a new priority for CELAC countries in the upcoming capacity building project Call of Erasmus+. More information on the content of the SOM meeting in the Joint Communique.

During the course of the week, there were various informative sessions and trainings on Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020, a funding agencies meeting, a workshop on sustainable urbanization, a seminar on recognition of study periods abroad as well as the two day III EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit.

The Academic Summit included lectures, plenary sessions and panel discussions centered around three main themes:

  • The construction of a common Euro-Latin American and Caribbean space for higher education, science, technology and innovation.
  • Universities and public policies.
  • Inputs of the Universities to the 2030 Agenda: Bonding Higher Education and Sustainable Development Goals.

Close to 500 people from 61 countries participated in the event, representing universities, networks, programmes, national and regional authorities including the European Commission. More information on the event.
See also an article on La Prensa Gráfica (in Spanish only) and Twitter: @CAC_2017

Picture credits: UniPID/Kajsa Ekroos, except the last one: Universidad de El Salvador