The EU-Russia Year of Science 2014 was a joint initiative of the EU-Commission and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation organised with the EU Member States across the EU and Russia. Its objective was to highlight the achievements and the potential of the rich science and research cooperation between Russia and Europe.
At the 30th EU-Russia Summit on 21 December 2012 in Brussels, EU and Russian leaders agreed to make 2014 the 'EU-Russia Year of Science'. It celebrated the long standing cooperation and joint achievements in research, technology and innovation between Russia, the EU and EU Member States. The Year of Science included a large number of events across Russia and the EU, showcasing the strength their strategic partnership in science, technology, and higher education, and engaging the EU and Russian scientific communities, as well as the wider public.
With the EU-Russia Year of Science the organisers hoped to open a new era of S&T cooperation between Russia and the EU related to the launch of the new European framework programme 'Horizon 2020' as well as the Russian State Programme and the Federal Targeted Programmes for R&D. These programmes were expected to provide the ground for a new balanced relationship in science, technology and innovation based on shared responsibility through co-funding and programme-level coordination.
The EU-Russia Year of Science 2014 was a unique opportunity for participants to showcase past and present achievements. The hosts had hoped it would generate new dynamics, create fresh enthusiasm, and provide a boost for new, innovative forms of collaboration.
The European Union and Russia are both world leaders in the generation of scientific insights. The EU produces a third of the world's scientific knowledge and is at the forefront in many research areas. Russia has a long and proud history as one of the world's leading scientific nations and has stood at the origins of many of today's scientific schools and knowledge.
The European Union and Russia are linked through their intellectual heritage and academic traditions. Today, the science sectors of the European Union and of Russia complement each other in many ways. The EU and Russia thus should be natural scientific partners, and the mutual benefits from close cooperation could be huge.
The timing of the Year of Science was meant to benefit from the conjunction of key related events in 2014, including: the launch of Horizon 2020; the renewal of the EU-Russia S&T Agreement; the start of the Russian State Programme and Federal Targeted Programmes for R&D; and the hosting by Russia of the Carnegie Group meeting. This initiative also fits in the context of Russia’s growing global presence, with its accession to the WTO, its chairmanship of the G20 in 2013 and of the G8 in 2014.
EU-Russia science cooperation was a remarkable success story which was continued in the EU-Russia Year of Science 2014 and will hopefully thrive again in the future.
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