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PACE-NET Plus bi-regional Platform: Pathways to Innovation in the Pacific Region

Thursday 30 June - Friday 1 July 2016, Nadi, Fiji

  • Pacific

With this bi-regional dialogue platform, PACE-Net Plus will present a strategy to support the official recognition of the fundamental importance of ST&I in the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries; PACE-Net Plus will also propose concrete joint activities to strengthen the STI cooperation between EU and the Pacific Region, thus contributing to policy dialogue between the two regions.

CTA is a partner of PACE-Net and will be represented at the event by Judith A. Francis, Senior Programme Coordinator for Science and Technology Policy. CTA will contribute to the Work Package 2 on Strengthening the UE-Pacific ST&I cooperation in the field of food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy.

The main outcomes of the project activities will be delivered to the policy makers in the Pacific (State of the art of STI in the Pacific; thematic Think Tanks relating to Horizon 2020 societal challenges; surveys on Innovation and pathways to innovation in the Pacific; and results of the seed funding initiatives on STI). The participants will also discuss the policy recommendations that have been elaborated in the framework of the project, to promote the bi-regional cooperation in STI between Europe and the Pacific.

Background

PACE-Net Plus is the second project funded by the European Commission to further support the institutional bi-regional policy dialogue in Science and Technology between the Pacific Region and the European Union; strengthen the bi-regional cooperation in STI, notably through Horizon 2020 (the European Union's framework programme dedicated to research and innovation). Launched in September 2013, the project brings together 16 members, from the Pacific region and the EU.

The opportunities for European and Pacific researchers to collaborate are many and diverse. During the last two years, PACE-Net Plus has organised 8 think-tanks, which sought to update and identify research priorities, innovation areas, and to develop preliminary ideas for joint initiatives and activities for EU-Pacific STI cooperation. To date for example, PACE-Net Plus, strongly advocates for a future project dedicated to strengthening the Observation systems of Climate change and its Impacts in the Pacific, serving also the global approach of a changing climate.

PACE-Net Plus supports the EU-Pacific policy dialogue in STI, including dialogue on innovation issues. Indeed, the world economy continuously poses new challenges to innovation in developing and emerging countries: the rise of information and communication technologies, the development of global value chains, and the increased importance of some countries in the global innovation system. Today a key challenge for innovation policy in developing and emerging countries is to exploit these new opportunities and at the same time to support innovation, addressing major social challenges and generate inclusive growth. This is why the project promotes the idea of innovation as an essential platform for tackling global challenges responds to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and its Innovation Union Flagship initiative.

In addition, the project encourages the coordination between STI programmes and policies from the EU and its Member States targeting the Pacific, by promoting the implementation of joint actions, such as a future large research call, based on a significant seed-funding scheme designed to ease the access of the PICTs to H2020.

Finally, as strengthening the bi-regional dialogue in STI, is a a core component of PACE-Net Plus and a key step towards achieving increased EU-Pacific collaboration to address the societal challenges, the project will during this platform strongly advocate pathways for a Pacific regional strategy on STI, as well for the building of the relevant organisation to make this dialogue between the EU and Pacific Region sustainable.