III. PROMOTING INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY ON A BI-REGIONAL SCALE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION.
39. Aware of the key role played by science, technology and innovation for achieving sustainable development and social inclusion, through the social appropriation of knowledge, as well as mutual benefits through cooperation in capacity building, research programmes, and technology transfer activities, through innovation strengthening thematic networks and at increasing competitiveness, at favouring science and technology independence and at promoting greater uptake of science and technology in Latin America, the Caribbean and in the EU, we agree to give priority to bi-regional and triangular cooperation as well as to activities in these fields, especially to enable access to cooperation opportunities to countries with low or no participation in European Programmes.
40. We also decide to strengthen the science, technology and innovation dialogue at ministerial and EU-LAC S&T Senior Officials levels in order to ensure updating and monitoring of priorities and joint instruments, taking into account the interest and differences between and within each region in order to strengthen the enabling environment for social and technological innovation across our societies.
41. Fully committed with priorities and decision taken in earlier EU-LAC Summits to achieve a “EU-LAC Knowledge Area”, we agree on the development and implementation of the EU-LAC Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (the ‘Initiative’) adopted at the EU-LAC Ministerial Forum on Science and Technology held in Madrid on 14 May 2010. The Initiative is based on a set of pre-existent and new actions combining different types of instruments at national, regional and bi-regional levels, as appropriate, in a complementary and synergistic manner in pursuit of the objectives of the Initiative. The Initiative frames Science and Technology cooperation in close coordination with higher education and innovation actions. This is expected to create conditions for strengthening the interface between research and innovation and to facilitate technology transfer and adaptation in formats accessible to micro and SMEs, including through knowledge and innovation centres network, participation in the European Research Framework Programme, progressive opening of national research programmes, interconnectivity between research infrastructures and promoting cooperation in capacity building human and institutional.
42. In order to pursue these objectives, the above mentioned Joint Action Plan as regards research, technology and innovation comprises implementation of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation as well as other bi-regional activities regarding Research and Development and innovation.
43. We very much welcome that the VII LAC-EU Summit will be held in Chile in 2012 and we accept with pleasure the invitation to participate.
44. We thank Spain and the city of Madrid for hosting the VI EU-LAC Summit.
Annex: EU-LAC Joint Action Plan.
Council of the European Union