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The European Commission and the National Council for Scientific Research-Lebanon signed, on 11 April 2019 an Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Union and the Republic of Lebanon allowing for the participation of Lebanon in PRIMA, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area.
The Agreement was signed by Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, and by Mouïn Hamzé, Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research-Lebanon. The signing ceremony took place under the auspices of EU Ambassador Christina Lassen who said: "The European Union is promoting better cooperation and stronger partnerships across the region", adding that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to reinforce cooperation in research and innovation. Support to regional cooperation in research and innovation is an important element of the European Neighbourhood Policy foreseeing the development of a common knowledge and innovation space between the EU and its neighbours.
With signature of this agreement Lebanon integrates the ambitious PRIMA initiative for jointly funded research in the key areas of water management, agriculture and food production. PRIMA is the largest research and innovation initiative in the Mediterranean area. It runs over ten years (2018-2028) and is jointly funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation framework programme ( €220 million) and by participating states from both rims of the Mediterranean. Lebanon has been one of the most active countries since the inception of PRIMA, contributing €5 million to this initiative.