Brussels, 6 November 2003
The European Union and the Russian Federation will step up joint efforts in science and technology, by signing a new "Agreement on co-operation for Science and Technology" (S&T) during the EU-Russia summit in Rome today. This agreement is key to ensuring the participation of Russian scientists in the EU Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6 2002-2006). The previous EU-Russia scientific co-operation agreement entered into force in May 2001 and expired on 31 December 2002. The new agreement is based on the principles of mutual benefit, reciprocal opportunities for participation in each other's S&T programmes and activities covered by the agreement, non-discrimination, effective protection of intellectual property and equitable sharing of intellectual property rights (IPRs). The agreement will lead to common research efforts in fields such as biomedicine and health, the environment and climate, including earth observation, non-nuclear energy, information society technologies, social sciences, and training and mobility of scientists.
"The Russian Federation has high-quality researchers and top scientific facilities," said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "At the EU-Russia Summit in St Petersburg last May, it was agreed to launch a common area of research and education. During my recent visit to Russia and meetings with Russian policy-makers, research and business executives, I had first-hand contact with Russian excellence in research, and I found a firm political will to step up co-operation with the EU. Moreover, the enlarged European Union will have direct frontiers with Russia. Scientific co-operation will help to deepen the relationship with those countries and can contribute to the progress of a European Research Area open to the world, for the mutual benefit of the EU and Russia."
Joining forces with Russian partners
According to the agreement, co-operation may be pursued in research, technological development and demonstration activities. This will include basic research in several areas, such as biomedical and health research, environment and climate research, earth observation, non-nuclear energy, information society technologies, social sciences research, science and technology policy, and the training and mobility of scientists. Co-operation will be conducted subject to applicable laws and regulations in force on each side.
Putting the S&T Action Plan into action
A strengthened co-operation between the European Union and Russia in the R&D sector will not only encourage Russian economic development and the training of skilled human resources, but also enhance the EU's own scientific and technological research activities. The co-operation under the renewed agreement will continue to be strengthened by the "Action Plan to enhance co-operation in Science and Technology between the EU and Russia"1, established and adopted in 2002 under the previous Science and Technology co-operation agreement.
The Sixth Framework Programme on Research offers opportunities for the Russian scientific community to get closer to the European one. In fact, as a demonstration of the strong interest of Russian scientists in European research, within the first call for proposals for the Sixth Research Framework Programme there have been more than 500 participants from Russia with a total budget requested of around €75 million.
For further information on the scientific co-operation with Russia, including Russia's participation in FP6 please visit:
DN: IP/03/1509 Date: 06/11/2003
DN: IP/03/1509 Date: 06/11/2003