22 Nov 2023
EC holds first EU-Carribean Workshop on Marine Scientific Cooperation
The first workshop on EU-Caribbean Marine Scientific Cooperation was held in Barbados on 14 and 15 November 2023.
The workshop gathered 35 stakeholders onsite and some 40 experts online from both regions to discuss on the opportunities, needs and gaps in marine research and cooperation for the Caribbean region, and successfully initiated a sustainable dialogue on marine research between the EU and the Caribbean region.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Barbadian Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, the Hon. Davidson I. Ishmael who welcomed this joint collaborative initiative to address the opportunities and challenges in our oceans and thanked the European Union for its commitment to provide relevant assistance to the Caribbean region.
In her welcome message, Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for Global Approach and International Cooperation in R&I at the European Commission, stressed that the event aims to foster EU-Caribbean and research cooperation and thus stimulate the participation of the Caribbean research actors in the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and other EU-related programmes for marine cooperation.
Following an overview on regional research priorities and capacity building needs and a presentation of relevant ongoing initiatives, the authors of the “EU-Caribbean study on marine scientific cooperation”, to be published in December 2023, presented the outcomes and recommendations of their analyses. Core of the event was the discussion on four key topics to address the regional marine challenges and to develop answers:
- Community resilience and climate change
- Healthy ecosystems for SDG 14
- Fostering societal reliance on oceans
- Ocean observation for governance
The 2nd day of the workshop was dedicated to a detailed presentation on the European strategy for research and innovation and the funding opportunities under the Horizon Europe programme, and on regional funding mechanisms for research and capacity building in the Caribbean.
It was clear at the end of the workshop the complete alignment between the four key topics mentioned above and the EU Mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters by 2023 as well as the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance Declaration. The participants were committed to further explore potential synergies and develop ideas for EU-Caribbean joint actions in the near future.
The outcomes of this workshop will feed into the agenda of the upcoming high-level meeting of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation that will take place on 28-29 November 2023 in Brussels.
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