The RISE group of the European Commission highlights the Spanish Science Diplomacy work
In 2014, the European Commission (EC) set up the “Research, Innovation, and Science Policy Experts" (RISE) high level group (HLG). The group gives direct strategic support to the European Commissioner for research, innovation, and science, Carlos Moedas, and to the European Commission. It focuses on how to best use EU research, innovation, and science policy to address the European growth model and to create the conditions for a different type of growth, a growth that is smart, sustainable, and socially inclusive for the EU and associated countries within a globalized world.
RISE gives advice to the EC in issues such as “economics of innovation”, “open innovation”, “open science” and an “open to the world” European research and innovation system. Regarding the “open to the world” topic, RISE commissioned a study to the expert Luk van Langenhove about “Tools for an EU science diplomacy”, that was recently published.
The goal of this report was to map the situation of science diplomacy in the European Union and the Member states and to establish a set of recommendations for a common Strategy within the Union. The study selects some success cases at the national level such as the German, the French, the Swish, and the British. Also, the Spanish case is highlighted in the report and it identifies the Report on science, technology and innovation diplomacy (2016) as a key milestone to the revamping of the Spanish science diplomacy. It also mentions as very relevant the new model the Spanish government is using to deploy its science diplomacy strategy. In a quite new bottom-up phenomenon, the creation and growth of independent associations of Spanish researchers abroad with very strong advocacy, visibility, networking and international cooperation agendas has triggered the deployment of a science diplomacy strategy that includes the appointment of three science coordinators at the Spanish Embassies in Washington, Berlin and London. This approach has facilitated a structured approach to science affairs at the Embassies and the creation of innovative programmes such as “Ambassadors for Science”.
At the light of the policy mapping exercise, the report recommends the European Union to develop a science diplomacy strategy with two main strands: (i) support of the Member States Science Diplomacy policies and practices; and (ii) support of the EUs own Foreign and Security Policy.
Regarding the first strand, these are the concrete recommendations:
- Monitor the development of Science Diplomacy in the EU
- Create a support structure for Science Diplomacy activities at the level of EU Member States
Regarding the second strand, the report suggests:
- Link the EU’s RTD policy with the European Foreign and Security Policies
- Create a culture of Science Diplomacy in the European External Action Service
- Improve dialogue and collaboration with regard to Science Diplomacy between all relevant EU institutions
- Develop a focused EU strategic plan on Science Diplomacy that incorporates the above recommendations.
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