Ensocio-LA background image

EU-CELAC Cooperation Framework

Steps Leading to Implementation of the JIRI

The bi-regional partnership in STI between the EU and LAC has evolved significantly and visibly during recent years. Initiated by the EU-LAC summit in Rio in 1999, the bi-regional STI dialogue has been developed and consolidated both on political and operational levels. This process finally converged in the adoption of the “Madrid Action Plan 2010-2012 - Towards a new stage in the bi-regional partnership: innovation and technology for sustainable development and social inclusion.” This was adopted by the European Union – Latin America and Caribbean Summit in Madrid, 2010. The aims of the Action Plan are mainly to support bi-regional cooperation programmes and initiatives, including ‘south-south’ cooperation and ‘triangular’ cooperation. The Plan also endorsed the development and implementation of a JIRI (Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation). The mandate of the JIRI includes actions to “establish regular bi-regional dialogue on science, research, technology and innovation to consolidate ULAC cooperation and to update common priorities, encourage mutual policy learning and ensure the proper implementation and effectiveness of cooperation instruments”.

Calling on a wide range of experts At the EU-LAC S&T Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Brussels in March 2011 a road map for implementation of the JIRI was adopted. In order to focus on the joint actions thematically, five SOM working groups were established to mobilise stakeholders in priority areas of mutual interest.  Calling on a wide range of experts from both regions with the support of several INCO-Nets, the four thematic working groups have narrowed down objectives for the short and medium term and outlined concrete activities and funding options to be further elaborated for bi-regional cooperation in the following areas:

  • Bioeconomy including food security (coordinated by Argentina and France)
  • Information and communication technologies (ICT) for meeting societal challenges (Coordinated by Chile and Finland)
  • Biodiversity and climate change (coordinated by Colombia and France)
  • Energy (coordinated by Mexico and Spain)


A fifth cross-cutting group co-coordinated by Mexico and Portugal looks at funding instruments, opportunities and good practice.


On 4th March 2012, a meeting of the European Union-Economic Community of Latin American and Caribbean countries SOM (EU-CELAC SOM) took place in Concepción, Chile. The aim of this meeting was to review the state of implementation of the JIRI roadmap and to report on the progress achieved and longer-term perspectives to the Summit in Santiago de Chile at the end of January 2013. Following the working groups’ recommendations to ensure prompt action on the opportunities identified and to joining forces between participating countries and opening up to additional countries, the S&T senior officials agreed in Chile to arrange a meeting to bring together research and innovation funding agencies and programme owners of the interested countries in order to identify the most suitable mechanisms for implementing the concrete actions of the JIRI.

Hence, with the aim to associate EU and LAC research funding agencies with the JIRI, the European Commission invited senior representatives of funding agencies from both regions to a joint meeting in Brussels in November 2012. The 19 participating agencies were informed about the priority objectives and actions of the JIRI and decided to sign a Joint Statement expressing their willingness to support the JIRI future activities. The participants recommended the establishment of two more SOM working groups – one on “Health” and one on “Cooperation in research capacity building” for consideration at the next EU-CELAC SOM in April 2013.

At the meeting of the funding agencies, the SOM working group on “cross-cutting issues” presented an analysis of the current status of bi-regional S&T cooperation, outlining existing framework conditions and instruments and formulating the need of implementing concrete and efficient joint initiatives – making use of and combining existing instruments and creating new ones. There was general recognition among the funding agencies that the bi-regional cooperation offers high added value and that the exploitation of opportunities within the existing national, regional and bi-regional funding schemes is both possible and desirable.

At the EU-CELAC SOM in April 2013, the four thematic SOM working groups presented their recommendations for future joint activities within the JIRI. These recommendations included suggestions for capacity building measures, observatories, creation of thematic networks, opening up of national and regional structures, networks and programmes and concrete joint funding actions. The SOM delegates decided to implement a new working group on “health”. The Commission clearly stated, that the activities of the SOM and its working groups will be supported by the INCO-Net project with Latin America and the Caribbean Region (ALCUE NET), the BILAT-projects with Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico and the future ERA-NET with CELAC.


The Role of ENSOCIO-LA in Supporting the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI)

The diagram below provides an overview of the working group structure developed to support implementation of the JIRI.

The JIRI is (currently) implemented via five thematic SOM working groups, addressing ICT, Energy, Biodiversity / Climate Change, Bio-economy and Health. To help identify and address research priorities in each of these working groups, a series of cooperation and thematic projects have been funded: the INCO-NET ALCUE NET generally supports all SOM working groups with the exception of Health, which addressed via the EU-LAC HEALTH project. The ENSOCIO-LAC project is one of the thematic projects directly addressing research collaboration under the EC FP7 priorities of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials.

The ERA-NET with Latin America and the Caribbean (ERANet-LAC) is supporting implementation of the JIRI by initiating joint bi-regional actions. It implements two Joint Calls for bi-regional research projects – addressing topics and issues of priority arising from the SOM working group process. This also includes recommendations for research actions arising from the ENSOCIO-LAC project, fed directly into the SOM Biodiversity and Climate Change working group.

The ENSOCIO-LAC project has close ties with both the ALCUE-NET and the ERANet LAC project.

Support for
implementation of JIRI

direct cooperation with
SOM working groups

Heads of states

Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI)

Senior officials of  EU-CELAC governm.


elaborates concrete suggestions for the  implementation of JIRI

five  thematic SOM working groups

arrow arrow arrow arrow arrow









EU-CELAC SOM  secretariate




Joint Calls + Joint Actions


(topics based on suggestions from EU-CELAC SOM)


Thematic projects



ALCUE KBBE (end. Nov 13)



climate, ressorce eff., raw materials




Vínculos a proyectos

Apoyo para la
implementación de JIRI

Cooperación Directa con 
los grupos de trabajo

Heads of states

Iniciativa Conjunta para la Investigación e Innovación (JIRI)

Senior officials of  EU-CELAC governm.


Elabora sugerencias concretas para la implementación de JIRI

5 grupos de trabajo SOM temáticos

arrow arrow arrow arrow arrow



Clima y






Secretariado EU-CELAC SOM 

Proyectos bilaterales



Convocatorias conjuntas + Acciones conjuntas


(Temas basados en sugerencias de EU-CELAC SOM)

Vinculación cercana

Proyectos temáticos

EU-LAC Salud


ALCUE KBBE (term. Nov 13)



Cambio climático, eficiencia en recursos y materias primas



Latest news: Third ERA-MIN Joint Call on Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials

On the framework of the ERA-MIN project "Network on Industrial handling of non-energy raw materials for European Industries", a new Joint Call was launched....

View article


There are no events to display