Report on Science, Technology and Innovation Diplomacy
Last July the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America, Jesus Gracia, and the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, presented the Report on Science, Technology and Innovation Diplomacy.
The report consists of four sections and arises from the need to establish closer links with Spanish researchers abroad, to strengthen the position of Spanish science abroad and to respond adequately to the challenges faced in this high-speed-world; challenges such as climate change, safe, clean and efficient energy, aging, pandemics, health, food safety or cybersecurity, which may find solutions in science and innovation.
The report also includes measures to boost international business leadership in R & D & I, optimize coordination in the General State Administration, strengthen collaboration with other countries, train public staff in scientific diplomacy or improve communication and disclosure in these areas.
This document was prepared by an advisory group coordinated by the Ambassador for Scientific and Technological Diplomacy, Fidel López Álvarez, and with representatives from the General State Administration (Secretariat of State for International Cooperation and for Latin America, Secretariat of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Secretariat of State for Commerce and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology); the research world (Higher Council of Scientific Research and Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities); business world (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations); foundations that support research and innovation (Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, Ramón Areces and COTEC) and the field of analysis centers (Elcano Royal Institute).
Spanish science, technology and innovation diplomacy
Since 2012, the Secretariat of State for R & D & I - through FECYT and in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation - has taken important steps to strengthen scientific diplomacy. The main one has been the creation of scientific advisors at Spanish embassies in London, Berlin and Washington, who work to include science in the Spanish foreign policy agenda and to foster the relationship between scientists and diplomats.
It has also supported the creation of communities of Spanish scientists abroad, which have among their objectives to establish channels of collaboration between the centers in which they develop their research and Spanish institutions and bodies. The first of these was formed in the UK in 2012 and 12 more have already been established worldwide. Also noteworthy are actions such as the creation of the Network of Scientific Diplomacy in Madrid in which foreign embassies accredited in Spain participate.
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