EU and Japan cooperate on science and technology

28 May 2020 | Muriel Cozier

Letter of intent builds on strategic partnership.

The European Union and Japan have, this week, agreed to step up cooperation on global challenges such as climate change, digital transition and ageing population, as well as coordinating efforts to deal with the corona virus pandemic.

The agreement, which is laid out in a Letter of Intent, will strengthen cooperation in science, technology and innovation. It will also ‘enhance synergies between the next EU research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, and Japan’s research and development programme Moonshot.’

Following the signing of the agreement, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said ‘Japan is one of our key partners. I am therefore extremely happy to have signed, together with Minister Takemoto, this Letter of Intent…The corona virus crisis has shown that cooperation at international level in research and innovation is more than ever necessary, including through open access to data and results.’ The agreement was also signed by Japan’s Minister of State for Science and Technology Naokazu Takemoto.

The European Commission added that the Letter of Intent is based on the 2011 Japan-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement. Under Horizon 2020, Japanese organisations have participated in 130 signed agreements, cooperating in areas such as climate change, smart cities and quantum technology. The parties said that the latest agreement presented ‘opportunities to enhance such cooperation.’

The cooperation agreement came as part of a wider ‘Japan-EU leaders’ meeting’ which took place via video conference. The leaders used the meeting to call for a future COVID-19 vaccine to become available world wide and welcomed the success of the ‘Global Corona virus Response’ which aims to raise Euro 7.5 billion. Japan is a co-chair with the EU on this initiative, which was launched by EU at the start of May 2020.

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