Science and Technology
Legal and institutional framework
The legal framework for EU-Russia science and technology (S&T) cooperation is set by the following documents:
• Agreement on cooperation in science and technology between the European Community and the Russian Federation (2000);
• Agreement for cooperation between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear safety (2001);
• Agreement for cooperation between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of controlled nuclear fusion (2001);
• Roadmap for the EU-Russia Common Space in Research and Education including Cultural Aspects (2005);
• EU-Russia Partnership & Cooperation Agreement (chapter on science & technology - article 62).
Institutionally, S&T cooperation is coordinated by the Joint S&T Cooperation Committee (JSTC) and several EU-Russia thematic S&T working groups established under the Agreement on cooperation in science and technology (2000). All actions agreed by the working groups are set out in a roadmap for action, the latest version of which was approved in 2012.
EU Framework Programmes
One of the most established forms of EU-Russia S&T cooperation is the participation of Russian scientists in the EU's Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, where Russia has traditionally been one of the most active and successful international cooperation partner countries. EU researchers, for their part, actively participate in Russia's research and development (R&D) programmes, such as Federal Targeted Programmes on R&D and the Russian 'mega-grants' programme to attract leading scientists to Russian universities and research institutes.
In 2007 a new cooperation mechanism of coordinated calls for co-funded research projects between the EU and Russia was introduced. To date, nine coordinated calls have been implemented with Russia in such areas as health; food, agriculture and biotechnology; ICT; energy; aeronautics; nanotechnologies; nuclear energy.
Starting from 2014, the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, is the main instrument of cooperation in the areas of research and innovation at the EU level. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU's Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available for seven years (2014 to 2020). It aims to foster innovation through collaboration, bringing together researchers, innovators and industry from the European Union and beyond. The programme is open to everyone from everywhere, including from Russia.
Global research infrastructures
Another key area of Russia-EU S&T cooperation involves the development of global research infrastructures, including the large-scale "mega-science" projects. Russia and the EU actively collaborate on a number of research infrastructure initiatives, for example the EU X-ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR); the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER); the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN); and others.
Russia and the EU also collaborate within the framework of the Group of Senior Officials (GSO) on global research infrastructures, composed of representatives from the G8+O5 countries.
A number of important programmes are in place to facilitate researchers' mobility between EU and Russia. At the EU level, these are mainly the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (under the EU's Framework Programme) and Erasmus+ programme*. These initiatives serve as an important tool of Russia's integration into the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area.
* Since 2014, the previous TEMPUS and Erasmus Mundus programmes have become part of the integrated Erasmus+ programme.
EU-Russia Year of Science 2014
On 25 November 2014, a scientific conference in Brussels closed the bilateral EU-Russia Year of Science, exactly one year after its launch in Moscow on 25 November 2013. The purpose of the Year of Science was to showcase the multifaceted nature of cooperation between Europe and Russia in science, technology, higher education and innovation, to accentuate past achievements and point towards future collaboration opportunities for mutual benefit.
With more than 170 joint European-Russian events having taken place all over Europe and Russia throughout the year, the Year of Science put into focus the diversity of links in research, innovation and higher education between the EU, its Member States and the Russian Federation. These events have provided an opportunity for individual researchers, enterprises, laboratories, research and higher education institutions to present their scientific achievements, as well as submit their ideas for future projects to a broader public. As a result, many new contacts and long-term partnerships between European and Russian universities and research organisations have been established, laying a solid foundation for future cooperation.Back to Fields of cooperation