EU-LAC Innovation Cooperation Conference

The European Commission is hosting an EU-LAC Innovation Cooperation Conference on 21-22 November in Brussels, Belgium. In the light of the recently published EU-LAC communication, the Conference aims to bring together key stakeholders from both regions (policy makers, innovation agencies and financing bodies) to debate and shape the future of innovation cooperation, with a specific focus on Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.

21 - 22 November 2019 | Brussels, Belgium

Objectives of the Conference

  • Exchange knowledge and ideas on how to create the right framework conditions for innovation cooperation.
  • Present the innovation dimension of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.
  • Review the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 and in future by Horizon Europe and discuss how EU-LAC innovation cooperation could be embedded in both programmes.
  • Strengthen EU-LAC relations with concrete measures supporting the exchange of knowledge, technologies and good practices between representatives from both regions.

Towards a common research and innovation area between the EU and LAC

The EU and LAC have developed a solid relationship aimed at building a common research area (CRA), particularly through the work undertaken by EU-LAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation. This has facilitated researcher mobility across both regions, and has driven bi-regional research cooperation to address societal challenges.

The EU-LAC communication calls for investment in knowledge, innovation and human capital, with a particular focus on bridging science and the private sector, transferring technology and ideas from the research base into start-ups and industry, and in promoting smart and regional specialisation. The Conference will therefore focus on how existing bi-regional scientific ties can be leveraged to drive the process of innovation.

The possibilities offered through the R&I framework programme, including the upcoming Horizon Europe, will also be explored. The LAC regions will also be encouraged to join the work on developing the innovation ecosystem through the European Innovation Council. A particular attention will also be paid to the R&I dimension in the Mercosur Association Agreement.

Learning from each other

The EU and LAC regions face common challenges and can learn from each other’s strengths when it comes to supporting innovation. The conference will provide a platform to discuss in an open and constructive manner the state of play of innovation cooperation, successful policy practices, and priorities for the EU-LAC cooperation on innovation.

This will include discussions on how to address existing barriers to innovation cooperation such as inadequate flows of risk finance, barriers to mobility for entrepreneurs, difficulty to carry out technology transfer, lack of more standardised Intellectual Property regulations, and market and policy fragmentation.

The first day of the event will provide an opportunity for a broader political level discussion, presenting the different approaches and realities in both regions and their member countries. This political discussion will aim to describe the broad framework conditions for the innovation cooperation, beyond purely R&I work, as the key dependencies for developing the innovation cooperation between both regions. A particular focus will be on successful elements in the various strategies and national / regional frameworks, especially those that specifically target cross-border innovation cooperation.

The second day will aim to explore further the common traits and approaches that emerge from the previous discussion as potential building blocks to a common strategy. The goal is to coalesce the diverse strands of national experience described earlier into an actionable and simple pillar-like structure of priority areas that will be the focus of the future innovation cooperation (inspired by the research cooperation within the EU-CELAC CRA context).

Target groups of the conference

The conference will primarily target decision-makers active in innovation policy (national or regional-level ministries) and innovation funding agencies. Representatives from the networking organisations and other existing cooperation structures may also be invited to share their experience in fostering EU-LAC innovation cooperation.


Anneken Reise
Tel. +49 228 3821-1241