Pacific and European science and technology researchers strengthen relationship
02 July 2010
Media release - Noumea, New Caledonia (2 July 2010)
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, French Research Institute for Development) with the European Commission (EC) have concluded a five-day meeting today, culminating with a set of agreed ‘roadmaps’ for project activities under the Pacific Europe Network for Science and Technology (PACE-Net) project.
The PACE-Net project is a three-year project that aims to promote improved cooperation in science and technology (S&T) research for development at the regional and bi-regional level by establishing and strengthening dialogue in S&T within the Pacific region, and between European countries and the Pacific. These dialogue activities will be informed by a preliminary analytical mapping of the current S&T cooperation activities in the Pacific region. The potential Pacific S&T developmentrelevant research themes will be identified for an increased S&T regional and bi-regional cooperation. This mapping will be shared with the local stakeholders (research institutions, local authorities, Pacific Island leaders, etc.) through a series of platforms and thematic workshops. Furthermore, the PACE-Net project also intends to develop recommendations for inclusion of these S&T research activities in future policies and donor-development assistance programmes. Mr Armaud Beuf, the Principal Scientific Officer from the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission based in Brussels, said that, “this project in S&T will significantly contribute to sustainable development in the Pacific region.”
The PACE-Net project is based on similar projects already implemented in six other regions of the world with grants from the EC’s ‘Capacities’ Programme of the 7th Framework Programme. It targets the Pacific group of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs). A budget of EUR 1.4 million has been allocated to PACE-Net over the three-year period by the EC.
The PACE-Net project is designed to be implemented as a series of project activities under six specific work packages, each of which has been allocated to a specific partner based on their expertise and resources. Work Package 1, led by the University of the South Pacific in partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea, will identify and analyse major research activities and research partners in the Pacific region. Work Package 2, led by SPC in partnership with New Zealand’s MORST (Ministry of Research, Science and Technology), focuses on linking S&T to Pacific development goals and needs. These two work packages began on 1 May 2010. Work Package 3 is led by a German Agency (Internationales Büro des BMBF) and aims at establishing Pacific-Europe dialogue and supporting platforms. Work Package 4, led by IRD in partnership with MCST (Malta Council for Science and Technology), FRENZ (Facilitating Research co-operation between Europe and New Zealand) and an Australian partner, will enhance Pacific-Europe S&T cooperation platforms. The dissemination and outreach activities of Work Package 5 will be conducted by an Italian Agency (APRE, Agenczia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea) and Work Package 6, which is the administrative and financial management of the PACE-Net project, is being conducted by IRD.
The kick-off meeting this week, jointly convened by SPC and IRD, brought the 10 partner institutions from the Pacific, Europe as well as from Australia and New Zealand together to fine-tune these six work packages. Representatives from several research organisations based in New Caledonia also participated as key stakeholders. The PACE-Net project is now launched and is keen for higher participation of stakeholder from all over the Pacific region to contribute their expertise regarding the S&T research for development in the Pacific.
For more information on the meeting and/or the PACE-Net project, please contact: