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The EU and South Africa have jointly decided to strengthen scientific cooperation. Within the framework of the 12th Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee meeting, held earlier this month in Brussels, representatives of both parties have discussed prospects for further research collaboration. The main scientific areas will include the following:
Global health – South Africa will become a full-fledged member of the European and Developing Countries’ Clinical Trials Partnership and will notably be more strongly involved in cooperation concerning the framework of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R). Research within this framework focuses in particular on threats of epidemics and emerging infectious diseases.
Earth observation – The EU and South Africa will set up a joint action with regard to the AfriGEOSS initiative within the framework of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) for the period after 2015. GEO deals with Earth observation systems and the production of comprehensive data sets for a variety of fields such as water management, meteorological observations, biodiversity, prediction and assessment of natural disasters and sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, fishery and forestry.
Research infrastructures – Potential synergies between the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the South African national research infrastructure roadmap will be discussed in the future. ESFRI aims at improving Europe’s scientific international outreach and supporting policy-led strategies for research infrastructures.
Already last month, further cooperation between with Africa on food security related research issues was announced (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, December 2013). In addition, several calls launched under Horizon 2020 put a strong focus on scientific cooperation between the EU and Africa.