II Coordination Meeting on Science Diplomacy - Madrid, July 4-6, 2016

16 July 2016

"How can we improve the integration of Spanish science in foreign policy?" This was the central axis of the second edition of the coordination days in Science Diplomacy that was held in Madrid on July 4, 5 and 6, organized by the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, FECYT, AECID and the Ramón Areces Foundation.

CEBE attended this event together with other Associations of Spanish Scientists abroad, who were key in the development of this meeting: United Kingdom (CERU), Germany (CERFA), Sweden (ACES), Denmark (CED), Italy (ASIERI), Ireland (SRSI), Czech Republic (EIC), Japan (ACEJAPÓN), Australia (SRAP), Mexico (RECEMX), USA (ECUSA) and Singapore. Thanks to the work carried out by the organizing institutions, and together with the experience accumulated by Spanish scientists in different countries, we were able to meet and debate different points of view on topics such as:

- The latest developments in the Spanish Science and Technology system and its context at European and global level.

- The initiatives in Science Diplomacy launched by the general state administration and proposals for improvement.

- The opportunities of the Spanish I+D+i system and the role of researchers in the implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

An especially important point was the mention to the new Scientific, Technological and Innovation Diplomacy Report, prepared by the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation and the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America. This report was officially presented on July 12 and exposes Science Diplomacy as a shared responsibility among all stakeholders, as well as a tool to adequately respond to global challenges in health, climate change and cyber security, among others.

During the third day of the Science Diplomacy sessions, the Associations of Spanish Scientists abroad had the opportunity to present our projects to potential collaborators. Listening to the proposals and opinions of associations that have years of experience was an invaluable experience for CEBE, a source of inspiration.

Beatriz Domínguez (President of CEBE) presented our newly formed association to the organizers, collaborating entities and the rest of the Associations of Spanish Scientists abroad. We explained our mission, the work that we have already done and the proposals we want to carry out in the upcoming months, as well as key points regarding Belgian I+D+i models and scientific-technological collaborations between Spain and Belgium. The response of attendees was very positive and enriching, and we are already working to put new projects into practice.

In short, the meeting was a complete success and allowed us to report on specific proposals for scientific diplomacy, bring different points of view closer together, debate ideas and establish collaborations between entities, communities and foundations. A whole experience that we hope to repeat next year!