6 May 2013

AMERICAS at the EU-CELAC Senior Officials Meeting – SOM, Brussels – 16 -17 April 2013

The AMERICAS Project participated as observer in the EU - CELAC Science and Technology Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) which took place on the 16th-17th of April 2013 in Brussels. The meeting was co-chaired by CONICYT- Chile for the CELAC countries and the European Commission for the EU. The aim of the meeting was to discuss and agree on the future development of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean. The JIRI is implemented by thematic bi-regional working groups on bioeconomy including food security, ICT for meeting societal challenges, biodiversity and climate change, and renewable energy. A new working group on health co-lead by Spain and Brazil was created at the meeting. 
AMERICAS presented the advantages, opportunities and the potential of the project to complement and support the work under the JIRI, in particular through the collaboration with the Working Group on ICT for meeting societal challenges. 
In the context of the policy dialogue activities to enhance research and innovation cooperation between Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Ministry of Education of Finland, the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) of Chile, as co-leaders of the working group on ICT for meeting societal challenges organized, with the support of the AMERICAS project, the Workshop “ICT for better living: increasing welfare of the societies in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean”, held on 15 April 2013 at the Chilean Embassy in Brussels. 
The workshop was attended by ICT experts from both regions, including academic and industry researchers, senior officials and representatives of science and technology funding agencies. The discussions were focused on four topics: e-Inclusion, e-Health, Living Labs and Smart Cities, in which interesting research lines of mutual interest were pointed out. The interconnection between the topics and the need for a bottom-up approach was addressed, as well as emphasis on the inclusion of end-users and private companies in the research and innovation initiatives. Furthermore, the need for interoperability of applications and open access data was highlighted. Finally, the event also served to discuss on alternatives to coordinate scientific research initiatives and the national and international funding instruments available. 
The outcomes of the workshop “ICT for better living: increasing welfare of the societies in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean” were presented at the Senior Officials Meeting by the working group co-leaders, CONICYT Chile and VTT Finland.

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