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Giving focus to the Cultural, Scientific and Social Dimension of EU - CELAC relations

WP4 - Scientific Dimension Overview

Compared with the social and cultural relations, large (financial and scientific) efforts have already been undertaken to analyse bi-regional relations in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Making use of the vast stock of existing information, in conjunction with selected complementary studied, we will be able to progress significantly on understanding the mechanisms of bi-regional relations in STI.

The EC has financed about 30 projects in FP6 and FP7 to support the EU-CELAC dialogue process on STI collaboration, since 2010 under the framework of the EU-CELAC Action Plan and the Joint Initiative of Research and Innovation JIRI. A considerable proportion of the outcomes produced in those projects - e.g. in respect of political framework conditions, collaboration activities in different thematic fields, gaps, best practices examples and recommendations on concrete measures to strengthen the partnership - are available only in internal reports and are not open to the public.

However, members of the consortium are or have been involved in many of those projects and thus have access to this enormously valuable stock of information. Furthermore, quite a number of scientific studies have been conducted to analyse the bi-regional collaboration mechanisms and developments. Most of those publications have either described the evolution and the current status of bi-regional collaboration from specific angles only (such as bibliometric data and empirical information on scientific collaboration) or focused on specific thematic areas. A holistic approach doesn´t exist, yet.

This WP will carry out an in depth stocktaking exercise, fill gaps by compiling additional research studied and for the first time show the whole picture of bi-regional STI partnership, by:

  • collecting the huge amount of existing information i.e. outcomes produced in projects supporting the EU-CELAC process and pertinent scientific literature
  • in depths analysis identifying the essence of the outputs and streamlining and generalizing their recommendations, bringing them down to a common denominator.
  • compiling additional data, which are necessary to show the whole picture.

Special focus will be put on highlighting efficient schemes of interaction between science and practice (communication “science-end” user) and identifying factors supporting or limiting efficient uptake of science by practice and on mechanisms which enhance the involvement of social actors.

Summarizing the findings of this WP and interlinking them with the outcomes of WP3 and 5 through the cross-cutting topics (through WP2) concrete suggestions will be formulated, which will contribute to a new vision of bi-regional partnership. This outcome will feed into WP6, which develops a joint vision based on the findings and recommendations of the pillar WPs.

In this WP, specific qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used, following a mixed methods logic and including empirical, ethnographic, relational, pragmatic and comparative studies.

Stocktaking and analysis of existing research results on bi-regional STI collaboration

This task will carry out an extensive stocktaking exercise and analysis of the outcomes of existing research results on bi-regional STI relations in terms of historic developments and the current status and boil the outcomes down to an essence. We will bring those data down to their common denominator with specific view on best practice examples and gaps denominated and the most relevant recommendations for future collaboration.

Stocktaking and analysis of outcomes of projects supporting the EU-CELAC process

This task will analyse the results produced in a considerable number of INCO-projects supporting the JIRI process (such as the BILAT projects, ALCUE NET, ENLACE, EUCARINET, ERANet-LAC, ENSOCIO-LA, EU-LAC HEALTH,EULAKS, LEADERSHIP, ALCUE KBBE and T-AP). The outcomes of those projects to a large extent are not open to the public. Nevertheless, since the partners of this consortium are involved in or connected to all those initiatives,
access to the data is guaranteed.

In those projects, the following outcomes have been produced:

  • Analysis of political framework conditions (such as political agreements on bilateral and bi-regional level)
  • Analysis of programs and cooperation schemes (national programmes enhancing bi-lateral or bi-regional collaboration, bilateral or multilateral collaboration schemes);
  • Analysis of joint collaboration within the EU Framework Programmes
  • Analysis of joint research infrastructures resp. European research institutions/innovative companies represented in CELAC and vice versa
  • Analysis of cooperation agreements between institutions in both regions
  • Suggestions for future priority topics, instruments and joint STI initiatives

We will also have a close look at the main results of the joint study conducted by the BILAT projects in context with the establishment of Joint Liaison Offices in the BILAT partner countries (In CELAC: Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Mexico), which reveals information on the strategies of European research institutions towards Latin America. Special attention will be given to the Foresight Process conducted within ALCUE NET, based on a decision of the EUCELAC SOM in April 2014. The outcomes of this WP will be closely intertwined with the foresight process, which develops three different scenarios for the future development of bi-regional STI cooperation.

Stocktaking and analysis of scientific publications on bi-regional STI collaboration

Several scientific publications and studies (e.g. Gillard & Arvanitis, 2013) have examined specific aspects of bi-regional STI collaboration such as:

  • Bibliometric data
  • Joint degree programs
  • Analysis of joint patenting/licensing
  • Drivers and motivators for bi-regional collaboration

Identifying the essence of existing research results – the common denominator

We will streamline the outcomes of the previous 2 tasks and extract the common understanding on the development of bi-regional STI collaboration and its current status. We will also identify the common denominator related to best practice examples, gaps and suggestions for future activities. We will identify success stories, i.e. projects or initiatives which have been successful in raising public awareness and involving civil society organizations and end users and denominate the factors leading to this effect.

Complementary analysis

Most of the scientific studies (T4.1.1.) and the projects (T4.1.2) targeting EU-CELAC STI relations have either described the evolution and the current status of bi-regional collaboration from specific angles only or focused on specific thematic areas. A holistic approach and a description of the common understanding on bi-regional STI relations doesn´t exist, yet. Therefore, complementary research studies have to be compiled in order to be able to show the whole picture of the drivers, mechanisms and instruments of bi-regional STI relations. 

Mobility

We will analyse how the exchange of scientific personnel between EU-CELAC has developed over centuries (historical analysis) and how political framework conditions impacted those flows of high skilled labour. We will also consider the return patterns and rates of highly skilled migrants – in both directions.

Alumni programs supported by the EU and by national donors have been mapped by ALCUE NET. In order to complete this study, we will conduct a comprehensive review on scientific diaspora networks of both regions (such as the Latin American Association of Scientists and the EURAXESS links network) analyzing the size, scope, objectives, activities and structure of those scientific diaspora networks (using statistical analysis and network-analysis methodologies).

Targeting the members of the alumni and diaspora networks, a research on the determinants of migration of students/scientists will be conducted. Distributing questionnaires, we will study the individual and structural factors, which determine the respective decisions of the alumni and diaspora students/researchers to either return to their home country or to stay in their host country. Furthermore we will survey the enabling and cumbering factors of knowledge transfer, the context in which knowledge transfers takes place and their experiences with spreading their skills.

Effect of digital transformation

A micro analysis on how digital transformation, i.e. the changing communication patterns and mechanisms, influences bi-regional STI collaboration
will be conducted. We will survey, which new communication tools are used, what influence they have on international collaboration and which of those tools are deemed specifically useful for enhancing bi-regional STI collaboration. This task will deliver input in terms of innovative elements to be included in the vision for future EU-CELAC relations (WP6).

Research Marketing Initiatives

We will collect examples of initiatives, which have been conducted to make European science more visible in CELAC and vice versa (e.g. Destination Europe, German Research Marketing Campaign, Exhibition of Science Tunnel of Max-Planck-Society in several CELAC countries), analyzing their success in terms of raising public awareness (media and press coverage, visitor numbers, political awareness). We will assess, whether they can serve as best practice examples for the future.

Assessing the perception of bi-regional STI activities on the political level

Using the networks established through the EU-CELAC SOM, CELAC, OEI, OBREAL and the Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation SFIC, we will survey the perception of the high-level representatives of relevant national ministries (and relevant public entities) on the external dimensions of EU policies in STI towards CELAC - and vice versa. Potential questions are: Is Europe considered a Global actor? Can best practice examples for science diplomacy be identified? Are elements of policies and practices of the respective other region perceived as a source for national or regional policy reforms? We will assess the mechanisms used for transferring the research results to state governments/institutions e.g. via the EU-CELAC dialogue process. We will analyse whether those mechanisms are perceived as useful. The perceptions and demands identified on the political level are important aspects to be taken into account in the vision building process (WP6).

Synthesis report on STI relations - interpretation and suggestions

This task will synthesize the outcomes of the previous tasks of this WP and feed them into the cross-cutting topic discussion process in WP2 and the vision building activities in WP6. It will describe the lessons learned and outline selected best practice examples of bi-regional STI collaboration with special focus on enhancing the involvement of social actors, which can have a model character for future bi-regional actions. It will also suggest a set of concrete and practicable actions, which serve to involve actors from science, culture and social.

Main elements of the outcomes produced in this task are listed below:

  • main drivers and motivators for bi-regional collaboration (on the basis of individuals and institutions)
  • success factors for bi-regional cooperation
  • successful pathways from individual experiences to long lasting collaboration relations
  • good examples for bi-regional science diplomacy
  • high impact programs and initiatives, which have been identified as being successful and efficient in the past, which should be used for designing future joint programs
  • successful and efficient schemes of interaction between science and practice (communication “science-end” user), which have model character for improving bi-regional relations.

The outcomes will also contain a concept for a marketing campaign” for successful bi-regional STI collaboration, incorporating social and cultural aspects and concrete suggestions to enhance the continuous flow of researchers and students between both regions.

 

 

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