Fundamental progress was made to boost cooperation among the more than 40 countries that make up the Eureka Network, strengthening its positioning as the largest intergovernmental network for investment in research and innovation projects.
One of the highlights of this conference was the approval of the Eureka Regulatory Corpus, which now allows countries from outside Europe to join the Eureka Network. In this context, and with the objective of strengthening the internationalisation of this network and recognising the importance of transnational cooperation, the integration of South Korea and Canada as full members was established. In addition, the re-association of Chile was filed during the event, after it was in 2017 the first Latin American country to enter the Eureka Network.
The Eureka Network’s international statement, notably in The European Area, was consolidated through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Eureka Network and the European Commission, with a view to strengthening Eureka’s crucial role in the European Research Area and the European Innovation Agenda.
The strengthening of the Eureka network, but also in the international innovation sector, was approved through another Memorandum of Understanding that determines the investment of EUR 2 billion in the so-called “Partnership on Innovative SMEs within the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation”. The investment, carried out by 37 countries, the European Commission and industry, will allow the financing of projects through the Eurostars and Innowwide programmes and research, development and innovation activities, as well as the exploitation of markets.
Finally, at the event was made official the adoption of the “XXVIII Eureka Ministerial Communiqué”, which reaffirms the commitment to make this platform increasingly inclusive, directed to social change, in order to generate economic prosperity worldwide.
Elvira Fortunato, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education , acknowledged that “Portugal is proud to be part of the Eureka Network from the beginning” and that “today, in addition to all the challenges, we face another problem – the war – which appeals even more to the need for unity and collaboration between countries”. Closing the meeting, Elvira Fortunato recalled the African proverb “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with it”, summarizing the ambition of the Portuguese Presidency for the Eureka Network.
Since its implementation in 1985, the Eureka Network has supported with €40 billion, €50,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, higher education institutions and research centres, totaling 7,000 research and development projects. In this way it has driven innovation, scientific job creation and industry development, thus becoming the world’s largest public and private funding network for research projects and activities, development and innovation.