Representatives of the European Union (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD)) and South Africa (the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST)) gathered in Brussels on 12 April 2019 for the 16th meeting of the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC). The meeting was
co-chaired by the two Directors-General
, Jean-Eric Paquet and Phil Mjwara.

 

The meeting highlighted the importance of science, technology and innovation for  further growth  of both the EU as well as the South Africa economies. The meeting also reflected on discussions at the EU-SA Summit in November 2018, at which STI was highlighted as a key element of the SA-EU partnership.

 

The meeting reviewed South Africa’s participation in Horizon 2020, with key success indicated through an above average participation rate of the South African research community. The Directors-General discussed new developments, including the European Union’s Horizon Europe and South Africa’s new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. Discussion focused on strategic elements of EU-South Africa co-operation, reflecting on good progress that has been achieved in key areas such as marine research cooperation; health research; bioeconomy as well as on cooperation with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The meeting also highlighted innovation as a key element for enhanced cooperation.

 

Participants emphasised the role of ESASTAP as a key platform for promoting cooperation between the EU and South Africa and noted its success as a project and the continued support for ESASTAP by the DST and DG RTD. An event to present some of the key initiatives under ESASTAP is to be hosted following the JSTCC.

 

The role of international co-operation and participation going forward under Horizon Europe was also highlighted as key in addressing the global challenges reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. Participants to the meeting also discussed the cooperation undertaken under the AU-EU High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation, reflecting on the implementation in the areas of Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change & Sustainable Energy, as well as on the catalysing role of South Africa in this process.

 

Both sides committed to furthering this strategic cooperation in priority areas, as well as working closely under the framework of new policy and implementation initiatives from the EU as well as the South African perspectives.