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BRICS: Teaming up for cooperation in science and research

Ministers of science from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) signed a memorandum of understanding at the first BRICS ministerial meeting on science, technology and innovation. The meeting was held on 10-11 February in KIeinmond, near Cape Town, South Africa and provided an important opportunity for BRICS’ Ministers of Science to set further steps for scientific cooperation.

The memorandum of understanding sets a framework for cooperation in research matters for five thematic areas, each led by one of the BRICS countries. 

  • Climate change and natural disaster – Brazil
  • Water resources and pollution treatment – Russia
  • Geopolitical technology – India
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency – China
  • Astronomy – South Africa
In addition, the memorandum includes plan for a science, technology and innovation training programme in BRICS member countries. BRICS heads of state and government are expected to sign the memorandum of understanding during the upcoming annual BRICS Leader’s summit held next July in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Prior to the BRICS ministers of science meeting  this February, three annual senior official working group meetings were held from 2011 onwards in order to prepare for the memorandum and the BRICS meeting at ministerial level. In recent years, the BRICS countries have put a particular emphasis on collaboration in science and knowledge transfer, aiming at bolstering political and economic ties between the countries through research initiatives. 

Republic of South Africa - Department Science and Technology