The participants of the meeting were welcomed by Natalya Bocharova, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, and Markus Ederer, EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation. In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Ederer praised science cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation being a true success story and expressed confidence that it “will continue with the new Horizon Europe programme to be a strong bridge between Europe and Russia”.
The two Co-Chairs, Maria Cristina Russo, the Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and Pavel A. Forsh, the Director of the Department of State Scientific and Science and Technology Policy of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, highlighted the continuously good level of cooperation between the EU and Russia in research and innovation. They took stock of Russia’s participation in the current EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, which is coming to its end. Since 2014, Russian organisations have participated more than 200 times in 131 projects implemented under this programme. Furthermore, the EU informed about the structure and priorities of its new seven-year Framework Programme for Research and Innovation «Horizon Europe» (2021-2027) and about the possibilities for cooperation, it offers. The Programme was presented at an on-line launch event on 18 June.
The Joint Committee noted the good level of cooperation in research and innovation between European and Russian entities in the period 2014-2020. It acknowledged the good results to date of the ‘flagship projects’ which had been launched in the area of research infrastructures, health and civil aeronautics. These initiatives implemented under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme are co-funded by the Russian Government. A particular attention was given to the “CARE” project ending in June 2021. This two-year project brings together 10 European and 2 Russian research organisations in a joint fight against HIV/TB/HCV. The European Union made almost €3 million available for this purpose, complemented by more than €300,000 from the Russian side. The results of the project were presented during an on-line event “HIV-TB-HCV: EU-Russia cooperation results” on 15 June.
Finally, the participants discussed other areas of common interest, such as COVID-19, climate change, and the European Green Deal. They discussed the state of an operational orientation document outlining possible cooperation priorities and instruments that could facilitate cooperation under the next EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ‘Horizon Europe’ and the Russian State Programme ‘Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation’ as from 2021. The EU also presented a document called “Compendium of Science and Technology Cooperation between the European Union, the EU Member States and the Russian Federation”, which was prepared by the EU Delegation to Russia in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, and the EU Member States. The compendium presents the main EU, EU Member States and Russian programmes supporting cooperation in the higher education, research and innovation areas. It will be of interest to researchers, innovators, professors and students in Russia and the EU.
The EU and Russia have been pursuing cooperation in science and technology since 1994. The EU-Russia Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee, which meets on an annual basis, alternately in Moscow and Brussels, coordinate the policy dialogue in this area.
One of the most established forms of the EU-Russia science and technology cooperation is the participation of Russian scientists in the EU's Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, where Russia has traditionally been one of the most active and successful international cooperation partner countries. EU researchers, for their part, actively collaborate with Russian partners based on Russia's research and development programmes, such as Federal Targeted Programmes on research and development and the Russian 'mega-grants' programme.