PRIMA Programme as an opportunity of Scientific Diplomacy: the presentation to the European Parliament of the research and innovation Programme in the agrifood and water management sectors.
The event, which will take place on Thursday April the 4th 2019, will focus on the presentation of the results of the first year calls of PRIMA Programme and its future prospects in light of the role of European Union’s research and innovation programmes.
3 April 2019 – The event will take place with particular reference to the PRIMA programme (Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area). The meeting, addressing the main contents of the PRIMA Programme, will be attended by Members of the European Parliament, diplomatic representatives of the PRIMA’s 19 participating States and of the EU Member States, representatives of the European Commission, the Co-Chairs, Director and Deputy Director of PRIMA Foundation, as well as representatives of other EU initiatives, international organizations and relevant Mediterranean institutions.
The PRIMA Initiative, jointly undertaken by 19 States[i] and the European Commission, has been approved by the European Parliament and the Council on the 4th of July 2017 under the framework of art. 185 TFEU[ii].
With a total budget of around half a billion euro to be used along seven years of calls, the Partnership is supported by the financial commitment of the 19 participating States and by the European Union through Horizon 2020. The Partnership is characterized by a strong strategic dimension based on the principle of equal footing applied through co-decision, co-financing and co-management and a distinctive geographical focus on the Mediterranean region.
PRIMA calls aim to develop innovative and sustainable solutions in the management of water resources, farming systems and agro-food value chain, encouraging their adoption by communities, businesses and citizens.
The main PRIMA goals are to build research and innovation capacities, to strengthen innovation potentials and to develop concrete solutions in an area heavily distressed by climate change, urbanization and population growth.
In 2018, the PRIMA Foundation based in Barcelona in charge of implementing the Programme launched its first calls for a total budget of around 48 million. It received more than 840 project proposals, involving 5.400 both private and public research units from 23 different Countries. Each proposal has been presented by a partnership composed by at least one research unit from both the Northern and Southern Med Countries, thus confirming the role of PRIMA in terms of Scientific Diplomacy. “The massive participation of researchers from across the Mediterranean in the PRIMA Calls for Proposals 2018 – Angelo Riccaboni Chair PRIMA Foundation– proves the very promising start of the initiative and marks a positive balance in the first year of activity”.
“PRIMA, as a long-term initiative, also plays a significant role in terms of Scientific Diplomacy and socio-economic development for the Mediterranean area“, adds Mohamed El-Shinawi, Co-Chair PRIMA Foundation.
After two stage of evaluation, 36 projects have been selected and their beneficiaries will soon sign the grant agreements. Data show a significant participation of the private sector (up to 43% of the total funded projects), an encouraging percentage in terms of gender participation (30%), and a positive share of funds targeting South-East Med Countries (30%). The total budget for the calls of 2019 is 63 million. Besides, the Annual Work Plan 2020 is being prepared in view of boosting research and innovation as a driver for concrete solutions expected to generate direct impacts on the MED region.
Considering the enormous challenges that the Mediterranean region is currently facing as well as the need of effective solutions in terms of water management, sustainable agro-food systems and economic development, it is pivotal to ensure the necessary continuity of the Initiative within the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe (2021-2027). All States involved and relevant European Institutions are called upon to join their forces on this regard.
Further information about PRIMA Programme and projects selected for funding:
Angelo Riccaboni, Mohamed El-Shinawi: email@example.com
[i] Algeria, Cyprus, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey.
[ii] Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) allows the EU to participate in research programmes jointly undertaken by several EU countries.