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26 Oct 2017

Plans to develop program for EaP countries as part of EU Horizon 2020

MINSK, 26 October (BelTA) - A special program may be developed for the Eastern Partnership countries as part of the EU Horizon 2020 program, Chairman of the Belarusian State Science and Technology Committee Alexander Shumilin told the media on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Central European Initiative (CEI) on science and technology headlined Biotechnology for Healthy and Active Life in the CEI Region in Minsk on 26 October, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus is an active participant of the European initiative Horizon 2020. Belarusian scientists have become partners in 30 projects and received approximately €6 million within the framework of this program. We are now discussing a separate program in the structure of Horizon 2020 program targeting the countries of the CEI and, above all, the Eastern Partnership which includes Belarus. I think this program will be adopted soon,” Alexander Shumilin said.

This year Belarus is holding the Presidency in the Central European Initiative. “This year has been declared the Year of Science in Belarus. We offered to dedicate this conference to biotechnologies and their role in health and agriculture, in improving the living conditions of people. These issues are relevant not only for us but for the entire Europe,” Alexander Shumilin said.

Eighteen states are part of the CEI. The ministerial conference in Belarus has brought together representatives of 12 countries. “Unfortunately, Europe knows little about our developments and achievements. For us, this conference is an opportunity to showcase the innovative development of Belarus and to suggest interesting projects that can be implemented in the EU. The global biotechnology market is rapidly growing, and we have something to offer. Belarus is actively developing biotechnologies, including the production of medicines, fertilizers, plant protection agents, biogas,” Alexander Shumilin added.

“There are outstanding Belarusian scientists that the country can be proud of. I know that the biotechnology sector is highly-developed in the country. I think that in the future we could establish cooperation between the Belarusian science organizations, research institutes and the Area Science Park in Trieste (Italy),” CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loeffler said.

The CEI ministerial meeting on science and technology Biotechnology for Healthy and Active Life in the CEI Region is taking place in Minsk on 26 October. The conference is meant to resume the dialogue of high-level experts on the current state and prospects of cooperation in science, technology, and innovations in the CEI region. The participants are expected to come up with proposals on specific projects in the region’s interests and help formulate the CEI agenda for 2018-2020. The conference has brought together ministers of the CEI member states, officials in charge of science, technology, innovations, healthcare, agriculture, and food industry. R&D centers and non-governmental organizations developing biopharmaceuticals and biotechnologies for agriculture have also been invited to attend.

 

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