A number of events within science, technology and innovation (STI) BRICS cooperation took place on 16-20 September 2019 in Campinas, Brazil.
The meetings aimed at fostering the dialogue and cooperation among BRICS countries in STI area, developing of specific mechanisms of cooperation, procedures and working plans, including joint science and technology programs and projects.
The 5th Meeting of BRICS STI Funding Working Group took place on 16-17 September 2019. The Meeting reviewed the outcomes of the 3rd joint call. 35 projects were selected for funding, 27 of which involve Russian research organizations. Furthermore, the results of the 1st cycle within the BRICS STI Framework Program and the implementation of the 2nd cycle were reviewed. Particular emphasis was given to joint calls efficiency enhancement issue and to the importance of participants’ number increase.
The 9th BRICS STI Senior Officials Meeting was held on 17-18 September 2019. The results and analysis of BRICS STI working groups activities were reviewed at the Meeting. Brazil presented “New BRICS STI Architecture” Concept, designed to facilitate the cooperation within BRICS countries. In order to implement this initiative Russia introduced a Steering Committee mechanism. The necessity to develop such a mechanism was first outlined by Russia and South Africa in 2018 and resulted from the BRICS countries` demand to ensure the coordination and management of ever-increasing number and volume of BRICS STI events.
According to the Russian proposal, the suggested Steering Committee shall comprise 10 people (2 from each BRICS country) and operate on the rotating basis – responsibilities move from one country to another in compliance with BRICS Presidency procedure. Russia offered to approbate this mechanism during its Presidency in BRICS in 2020.
The 7th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting was held on 19-20 September 2019. The Russian Federation was represented by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and International Centre for Innovations in Science, Technology and Education. The Russian delegation was led by the First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education, Grigory Trubnikov.
The most topical issues, including the perspectives of the STI initiatives implementation, were discussed during the Meeting. BRICS countries expressed their support with respect to the Russian initiatives to develop the Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network (BRICS GRAIN), to facilitate research in the polar region by organizing joint BRICS cruises, to develop BRICS Virtual Institute of Photonics and BRICS Network Centre for Material Science and Nanotechnology.
Following the Meeting, Campinas Declaration was signed, BRICS STI Work Plan 2019-2022 and BRICS STI Calendar of Activities 2019-2020 were adopted.
The next BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting is scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia in June 2020 under the Russian Presidency in BRICS.