11.03.2014

Barañao signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain and Portugal

He signed the memorandum of understanding during his visit to Lisbon in order to develop projects in the area of nanotechnology. He also spoke at the Innovation Convention 2014 event held in Brussels, organized by the European Commission.

Barañao signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain and Portugal

Barañao and the Minister of Education and Science of Portugal, Nuno Crato, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding [Photo: courtesy of the Government of Portugal]

The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Mr. Lino Barañao, concluded today the official mission in Brussels and Lisbon, capital of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Portuguese Republic, respectively. During the mission, which took place on March 10 and 11, the memorandum of understanding with Spain and Portugal was signed with the purpose of strengthening the scientific and technical cooperation between the three countries in the area of nanotechnology.

During today's session, in Lisbon, Barañao met at the Palácio das Laranjeiras with the Minister of Education and Science of Portugal, Nuno Crato, and the Ambassador of Spain in Lisbon, Eduardo Junco, who also signed the mentioned memorandum. The document will provide access of the science, technology and innovation institutions, researchers, students and Argentine companies to the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), located in Braga, Portugal. The purpose is to develop projects in the area of nanotechnology and encourage measures of the Argentine government enhancing training of highly qualified human resources. Among the most prominent areas are: nanodevices, nanoelectronics and nanoparticles applied to nanomedicine, environmental control and monitoring of water quality and food.

Furthermore, Barañao together with its director, Jonathan Howard, the Minister Crato and the Secretary of State for Science, Leonor Parreira visited the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Lisbon. The institute is one of the most important research centers in Portugal with connections to other European agencies, staffed with more than 400 researchers in disciplines such as cellular and computational biology.

Meanwhile, yesterday in the city of Brussels, the Minister of Science participated in the event Innovation Convention 2014, organized by the European Commission. He spoke in the table "Innovation Cafe: “Global challenges, global collaboration”. During his presentation, Barañao stressed the long background of scientific and technological cooperation in South America. The Minister of Science highlighted that although in the 90s Argentine scientists emigrated and developed their careers abroad, they have never lost contact and ties with Argentina, which resulted in numerous papers and patents. Moreover, Barañao stated that "the local needs are different from the needs of developed countries.In Latin America we should target to the productive innovation but above all, to inclusive innovation. Finally, the head of the ministry of Science highlighted the Argentina scholarship programmes, and the efforts to increase the use of new technologies in the educational system which has such a good impact in training undergraduates.

Barañao attended the presentation where his counterpart from South Africa, Derek Hanekom, the president and founder of the United Nations Foundation for the Advancement of Education, Science, Culture and Health, Jennie Yeung, the deputy of the United States, Eddie Bernice Johnson, and President of the European Council of Development, Jean Pierre Bourguignon also attended the meeting. Furthermore, Barañao met in Brussels with the director of the Americas of the European External Action Service, Roland Schaefer, and the Director of International Cooperation of the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission, Maria Cristina Russo.

The National Director of International Relations of the Ministry of Science, Eng. Águeda Menvielle also participated in the mission. In Lisbon, officials were accompanied by the Ambassador of Argentina in Portugal, Jorge Argüello.

About bilateral cooperation

With Belgium

Argentina and Belgium developed cooperation programmes since 1999 with the National Fund for Scientific Research of the French Community (FNRS), under which 37 projects have been implemented. It also participates in initiatives together with the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO), with 50 completed projects. Additionally, the RAICES programme (Network of Argentine Researchers and Scientists Living Abroad), under the Ministry of Science, has presence in Belgium through the Network of Argentine Scientists in Belgium and Luxembourg (RCABL), eight repatriated Argentine researchers returned therefrom. Moreover, both countries participated bilaterally in more than 40 projects funded within the framework of the European Union.

With Portugal

Argentina and Portugal maintain cooperative activities in science and technology since 1981, among which may be mentioned: the initiative called "mobility of researchers", which registers 43 executed projects, more than 100 human resources formed by the exchange of young researchers, as well as publications and presentations at symposia jointly held. Finally, in the framework of the 7th. Framework Programme of the European Union, Argentina shared 29 projects with Portuguese institutions.

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Barañao signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain and Portugal

Barañao and the Minister of Education and Science of Portugal, Nuno Crato, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding [Photo: courtesy of the Government of Portugal]

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